This post originally appeared in the IMTS Insider.
Calling all college students, and anyone who knows a college student: The MTConnect Student Challenge is for you!
More companies are turning to technology and entrepreneurial competitions as a source for new ideas. The government is doing the same, seeking solutions to real-world challenges through the solicitation of ideas. It’s a version of crowdsourcing with benefits for the entrants, like gaining notoriety and publicity for their ideas, connecting with potential clients/employers, or making a profit off of their idea – either through a direct sale or cash prizes.
The MTConnect Student Challenge is a crowdsourced, tech-focused maker competition especially for college students. Entrants are tasked with creating ideas and applications utilizing MTConnect, an open, HTTP- and XML-based standard to foster greater interoperability between industrial equipment and devices. MTConnect enables equipment to provide data in a uniform XML structure rather than in a proprietary format, therefore opening the possibility to create applications that utilize MTConnect.
The MTConnect Student Challenge is one challenge that encompasses two competitions:
Idea Creation: For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to write a five-page paper on a challenge manufacturers experience today; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. Students are highly encouraged to interview a manufacturer to understand the environment. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. The submission period closes on December 15, 2015.
Full rules and submission details are available at https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentideas/
Application Development: The Application Development competition requires students to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations – improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, etc. The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. Submission for this competition closes on January 31, 2016.
Full rules and submission details are available at https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentapps/
Students, this is a great chance to build your professional portfolio and connect with potential future employers. Additionally, the challenge makes a great thesis, capstone, or internship project. If you aren’t a student but you happen to know one (or a few), please help spread the word about the great opportunities in this competition.
The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T), and executed by U.S. Army ARDEC – Benét Labs, National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining (NCDMM), and MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA).