FIRST and Underwriters Laboratories Named Safety Alliance Partners

 FIRST News Release

FIRST® and Underwriters Laboratories Named Safety Alliance Partners

UL Signs Multi-Year Agreement to Foster Critical Safety Training and Supply Expert Personnel for FIRST® Robotics Competition Seasons

MANCHESTER, N.H., and CHICAGO, April 16, 2010 - FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced a five-year alliance agreement with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL). The agreement positions UL to provide FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC®) participants with the critical training and supervision to help students learn and use industry-standard safety practices.

The agreement establishes a framework for FIRST and UL to jointly foster programs that promote enthusiasm and inspire active safety procedures among high school students in the FIRST science and technology afterschool robotics programs. In addition to providing safety advisors at competitive events, developing FIRST Team safety manuals and producing training videos, UL employees support and mentor local teams throughout the build and competition seasons. As part of the FIRST Championship, UL will also judge and recognize winners of the student safety animation video submitted by FRC teams.

"Industry-standard training, safety regulations, and procedures are experiences that most high-school students do not learn about," noted Bill Miller, Director of the FIRST Robotics Competition adding, "Safety in industrial and manufacturing settings is critical, and FIRST is proud, with the assistance of UL, to be able to offer our participants core skills for the future. With UL’s rich history of industry standards and technical expertise, the value of their safety engineers and their expertise at our events cannot be underestimated. We are grateful that UL has signed on with FRC for an additional five years as our program takes safety issues very seriously and the UL value-added training goes a long way to fulfilling our goal of real-world opportunities for all of our student participants."

"There is a critical need for well-trained, safety engineers, scientists and technical specialists to meet the growing demand for a 21st Century technical workforce," said Keith Williams, president and CEO for Underwriters Laboratories. "While FIRST initiates a love of science and technology among young people, UL can provide our students with unique professional guidance from the experts in the field and help direct young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

About UL

UL is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems for more than 66,000 manufacturers annually. In total, there are more than 20 billion UL Marks appearing on products worldwide each year. UL's global family of companies and network of service providers includes 68 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 102 countries. For more information, visit:

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismT is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

FIRST® is a registered trademark of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (US FIRST).
LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group.

Media Contacts:

Joe Hirschmugl, UL

Cheryl Walsh
603-666-3906 ext. 460