WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Forward Industries (NASDAQ:FORD) announced today a new partnership with the Conrad Foundation, a Washington, DC-based 5013c, to support the 2016-2017 Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge) culminating with the Innovation Summit to be held at Kennedy Space Center in April 2017.

The Conrad Challenge provides young innovators and entrepreneurs a platform to share their commercially-viably, technology based ideas created to solve pressing global challenges. Open to students from around the world, ages 13-18, this challenge encourages collaboration among students as well as introducing them to subject matter experts along the way. After two rounds, the top five teams in each category compete at the Innovation Summit giving them the opportunity to present their ideas and compete for awards and commercialization opportunities.

"We are so excited to be working with Nancy Conrad on this year's challenge," said Forward Chairman and CEO, Terry Wise. "The Conrad Challenge permeates all aspects of innovation, and it aligns with our own efforts to inspire creativity at every stage of the product development and commercialization process. We are delighted to engage with student leaders and innovators as they develop their solutions for real world challenges."

The Conrad Challenge began a decade ago when Nancy Conrad, wife of the late American iconic astronaut and innovator, Pete Conrad, launched the program in her husband's memory. Forward Industries, as a sponsor of the Conrad Challenge, will provide guidance to young innovators and entrepreneurs during the competition and at the Innovation Summit. Forward will also work with past winners to help bring to market winning ideas that would benefit from Forward's expertise from design through commercialization and distribution.

"This partnership is a perfect fit," said Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation. "Young innovators will have access to seasoned professionals who know how to move great ideas from the prototype stage into the marketplace. Forward Industries is the ideal partner to work with our teams during every step of the design, manufacturing, and commercialization process. Their expertise will be invaluable to our students!"

Over the past ten years, thousands of students both nationally and globally have participated in creating innovative solutions in the following categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Cyber Technology & Security, Energy & Environment, Health & Nutrition. Many student teams have obtained patents for their winning ideas, deployed products and worked toward commercialization.

About Forward Industries:

Incorporated in 1961, and headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, Forward Industries provides innovative product protection and portability for some of the world's leading companies, developing and manufacturing high quality products for a wide portfolio of global OEM partners.

Forward's products can be viewed online at www.forwardindustries.com.

About Conrad Foundation:

The Conrad Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to 21st century, immersive learning, where students use their imagination and innovation to enrich their classroom studies and do something real. The Foundation is the only organization of its kind whose programs combine science and technology- based education, innovation and entrepreneurship to inspire solutions for achieving global sustainability. For more information, visit www.conradfoundation.org. For more information on the Conrad Challenge, visit www.conradchallenge.org.
MEDIA CONTACTSFORWARD INDUSTRIES INC:Michael MatteChief Financial OfficerOffice: 561-465-0031mmatte@forwardindustries.comCONRAD FOUNDATION:Lauren QuesadaGriffin Communications GroupOffice: 281-335-0200lauren@griffincg.com

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