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MTConnect Student Challenge Submission Period Now Open

The submission period opened today for the MTConnect Student Challenge, marking the official start of the competition for student ideas and applications utilizing MTConnect. The idea creation competition is open for submissions through September 18, 2015, while the application competition is accepting submissions through January 31, 2016.

In addition to cash prizes for winning submissions, the competition offers many benefits for participating students. It is ideal as a thesis, internship, or capstone project, and students are also provided with the opportunity to network with companies as a means to develop their professional contacts. The competition is open to enrolled college students, and those studying IT, software, mechanical, or electrical engineering are especially encouraged to apply.

MTConnect is an open source, XML and HTTP based communications standard that helps foster improved connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices, allowing for data collection and monitoring. It is a key enabler for allowing manufacturers to take advantage of digital manufacturing to optimize processes and functions on the shop floor. The Student Challenge stems from a prior successful competition that solicited ideas and applications from industry professionals and the general public.

“Manufacturers in all industries are looking to leverage the opportunities offered by big data and the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of the MTConnect Institute and President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “The MTConnect Student Challenge is an ideal competition to bring forth student-led innovation for real-world manufacturing solutions. We feel that students have the kind of creative thinking and ideas that are critical to advancing our industry, and we look forward to finding the next visionaries who can generate new approaches to digital manufacturing.”

The MTConnect Student Challenge encompasses two competitions: Idea Creation and Application Development.

MTConnect Student Challenge – Idea Creation

For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. 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 opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available at: www.challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentideas

MTConnect Student Challenge – Application Development


For the Application development competition, students will be required: 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. The submission period is June 11, 2015, through January 31, 2016. Winners will be selected and announced on April 20, 2016, at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, TX.

Full rules and submission details are available at: www.challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentapps

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 AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free standard that fosters greater interoperability between devices and software applications. By establishing an open and extensible channel of communication between devices, equipment, and systems, MTConnect enables applications aimed at providing more efficient operations, improved production optimization, and increased productivity.

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