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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.


Students developing ideas describing how to create intelligence from manufacturing data

Department of Defense

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $10,500
Type of Challenge: Ideas
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by the U.S. Army Benét Labs, AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
Submission Start: 06/09/2015 12:30 PM ET
Submission End: 03/15/2016 12:00 PM ET


UPDATE: Based on multiple requests from both professors and students, the submission deadline for this competition has been EXTENDED to March 15, 2016. Winners will be announced by March 23, 2016. Ideation winners will be invited to attend the [MC]2 Conference, a digital manufacturing conference taking place in Dallas on April 19-21, 2016.

The next Industrial Revolution is happening now, and this is your opportunity to change its trajectory forever! Your participation in this challenge could directly affect the advancement of an entire industry, and subsequently our nation’s economic growth. Sounds daunting? We promise it isn’t. There is just a five page paper standing between you and big opportunities that will allow you to transform your future while transforming an industry. Not only are there incredible opportunities and cash prizes on the line (upwards of $10,500!), but the challenge could also serve as an impressive thesis, capstone or finals project. You have to do these projects for class anyway, you might as well make your mark on history while you’re at it!

Your challenge is to brainstorm and develop innovative and adaptable manufacturing intelligence, drawing from data acquired using the MTConnect standard. MTConnect is an open, XML- and HTTP-based communications standard that acts as the enabler for the Internet of Things for manufacturing by fostering improved connectivity and interoperability between manufacturing equipment and devices. Within the challenge itself— there are two separate competitions, and you can choose to participate in one or both.

#1— Idea Creation: You must identify a manufacturing intelligence need, and build a business case for your proposed solution. Your solution must be written out, and including a cover page and 200 word abstract, may not exceed five pages.

#2— Applications: Read more about the Application Challenge here. Please see the Rules tab for a comprehensive run down of the challenge rules and requirements. For more information, check out the Discussion tab here and our resources on And, if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Facebook or Twitter. Good luck!


Alexander Lee

Steven Hearndon

Zach DeSmit, Patrick Good


Top Prize
Cash Prize Amount: $5,000

2nd Prize
Cash Prize Amount: $2,500

Runner Up
Cash Prize Amount: $1,000

Runner Up
Cash Prize Amount: $1,000

Runner Up
Cash Prize Amount: $1,000


Please see the rules document attached: MTConnect Challenge Idea Creation Rules16DEC2015 Please note that the submission deadline has changed to March 15, 2016.   In addition to being available within the challenge discussion forum, a list of frequently asked questions can be viewed here: MTConnect Student Challenge website - FAQ - v2

How To Enter

(A) Cover Page (1 page) Program Name: MTConnect Student Challenge: Idea Creation Title of Idea: Respondent Name: Organization (if applicable): Phone Number: Email address: Date of Proposal:
(B) Section I: Abstract
(200 words max.): Proposed idea: Provide an abstract describing your idea for an application
(C) Section II: Proposed idea:
Provide an innovative, achievable, and inspirational goal statement that summarizes your idea Describe your proposed idea Identify areas of benefit and the impact your idea would have on manufacturing
(D) Section III: Technical Requirements:
Identify the technical requirements needed to implement your proposed idea Describe how your idea proposes to utilize MTConnect Are there scientific or technical breakthroughs and milestones required to achieve the goal (i.e. new technology developments, enhancements to MTConnect standard, etc.)?
(E) Section IV: Benefits and Impact:
Describe the anticipated benefits to manufacturing that will be realized through your proposed solution. The impact should be described as a return on investment (ROI) to include the installation and maintenance of the prescribed technology. ROI could include concepts such as quality improvement, reduction in cost of doing business, increase in productivity, improved efficiency, etc.

The format for the submission is limited to 5 single-spaced pages, not including the Title page, with 1 inch margins on 8.5 x 11 inch letter paper and using Times New Roman font in the 12 point font size. All submissions shall not exceed 35MB. If links are included, they will not be considered during evaluation of the submission. All abstracts will be made public. Submissions containing proprietary data will not be accepted.