The industry partner providing the problem for the Challenge will retain full rights to the IP associated with any solution derived from the Challenge. When a student team signs up to take on a specific problem, its members will sign an Agreement, transferring the IP to the industry partner and granting the industry partner an exclusive and confidential license to use any IP upon submission. By signing the Agreement, the student team members are prohibited from using or disclosing any information at any time that he or she obtains during the Challenge.
In advance of embarking on a challenge, the student team members will sign a Non-disclosure Agreement and a Confidentiality Agreement, prohibiting them from disclosing any information and/or IP pertaining to the project, during or after the project is completed. Both agreements will be approved by the IGEN Challenge Advisory Committee.
The IGEN Challenge Advisory Committee and the industry partner will work in tandem to determine the scope of the challenge, the initial estimate of project-related costs, and the prize structure and amount. Student teams will then have the opportunity to choose from any of the challenges submitted by participating industry partners. Industry partners will present their projects to the student teams, who will select and take on whatever project most interests them. Therefore, it is possible that multiple student teams will attempt to solve the same project. Although all efforts will be made by the Advisory Committee to assist industry partners in designing their challenges to be as appealing as possible to student teams, some projects may not be chosen by any teams. Only industry partners whose projects are selected by one or more student teams will be expected to provide funding for the Challenge.
The Challenger will have the opportunity to limit the number of Collaborators they would like to have working on their challenge, since the Challenger will be supporting the costs incurred by those Collaborators. The overall project costs supported by the Challenger, as well as the desired number of Collaborator groups participating, will be agreed upon in advance of the Challenge by the Challenger and the Advisory Committee.
Assuming their problem is accepted by one or more Collaborator groups, the Challenger will provide the $5,000 monetary prize for the Challenge and will cover the project-related costs of each Collaborator team involved in their project, totaling a minimum of $1,000 per team. The Challenger will also bear any extraordinary expenses that, after consultation, they agree to be relevant to or necessary for the project. Such expenses may include, but not limited to, external testing, 3D modeling, or transportation expenses.
The Advisory Committee and the Challenger will agree in tandem, in advance of the Challenge, upon the scope, definition, and criteria for the prize. The amount of the prize will be proportionate to the complexity of the solution.
The IGEN Challenge is currently limited to the 3rd and 4th year students of the IGEN program. As such, there will be roughly eight teams from each year, each consisting of four to six students, for a total of 16 teams eligible to participate. In future years, the IGEN program reserves the right to expand the Challenge to include other years, and other departments and programs in the Faculty of Applied Science.
Student teams will work on their projects for the entirety of the academic year, from September until April.
Will industry partners have the opportunity to contact the student teams working on their project(s)?
Industry partners, at their own discretion, are welcome to contact the students working to solve their problems. Partners may arrange regular meetings with their student teams and are eligible to participate in their classes, upon agreement with the instructor and the Advisory Committee, and to attend their group meetings. Student teams will be strongly encouraged at the beginning of the Challenge to set up regular communications schedules with their industry partners.
How will the solutions be delivered to the industry partners, and how will the prizes be presented to student teams?
The IGEN program hosts an annual IGEN Project Showcase at the end of each academic year (typically in April), where all 2nd, 3rd and 4th year Integrated Engineering students exhibit their two-term design projects and visual aids to industry partners and alumni. At this cornerstone event, the winning student teams will present their solutions to the industry partners. The partners will have the opportunity to present their prize cheques to the winning teams.