Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation
School of Chemical Engineering

 

Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA)

 

Congratulations to all finalists of the 2018 SISCA competition! Click here to read about the winners.

Details of the 2018 competition (now closed) are below.

Do you have a great idea that could change the world for the better? Are you passionate about engineering, entrepreneurship or innovation?

The UQ Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation is calling all innovators, game-changers and entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact on global sustainability. The UQ Dow Centre and UQ IdeaHub are offering a total of $60,000 in cash prizes and a comprehensive Entrepreneurship Development Program to students who can successfully pitch an innovative engineering idea that addresses global sustainability issues through the production and use of energy and materials.

“The competition is a great chance for engineering students and entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and to win funds to develop their product/service into a business. In addition, the competition provides the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and people who can help to promote your idea into the business market.” Yousef Al-Qaryouti, 2017 SISCA prize winner - The Deployable House.

Entries are invited for any innovative idea with a tangible engineering focus that is either ready to launch as a startup business, or is still in the early stages of development. 

 

Do you have a great idea that could become a successful startup business?

If you are a student who can:

  • Produce a well-defined problem statement;
  • Demonstrate the economic, social, and environmental impacts of your proposed solution;
  • Demonstrate scalability of your idea; and
  • Prepare a business plan outlining the economic opportunity and proposed use of prize-money;

you may be eligible to:

  • Be invited to pitch your idea to a panel of Industry judges and technical experts;
  • Win $25,000 (first prize) or $10,000 (runner-up) in cash to turn your idea in to a business;
  • Participate in the UQ IdeaHub 2019 Entrepreneurship Program to build your innovation, design and business skills, connect with industry and mentors, and scale up your new business.
  • Receive a reference letter from The UQ Dow Centre confirming your participation in the challenge for addition to your professional portfolio;
  • Be featured in online publications by The UQ Dow Centre and UQ IdeaHub;
  • Have your new business idea promoted via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube;
  • Be invited to present your idea and new business to the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation Advisory Board (the Board), comprised of industry-leading experts in engineering, business and innovation; and
  • Present your progress to the Board as well as the next round of SISCA finalists in late 2019, demonstrating how you have used your prize money and new skills to scale-up your new business.
Do you have a great idea that is still in the early stages of development?

If you are a student who can:

  • Define a current problem in sustainability (including analysis of the relevant economic, social and environmental impacts);
  • Provide a proof-of-concept to explain how your idea will help solve this problem; and
  • Outline how you will use the prize-money to further develop your idea;

you may be eligible to:

  • Be invited to pitch your idea to a panel of Industry judges and technical experts;
  • Win one of up to ten $2,500 cash prizes to further develop your idea;
  • Participate in the UQ IdeaHub 2019 Entrepreneurship Program to further develop your idea and a compelling business plan to take your idea to the next stage of market readiness;
  • Receive a reference letter from The UQ Dow Centre confirming your participation in the challenge for addition to your professional portfolio;
  • Be interviewed and feature in online publications by The UQ Dow Centre and UQ IdeaHub;
  • Have your great idea promoted via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube; and
  • Present your progress to the next round of SISCA finalists in late 2019, demonstrating how you have used your prize money and new skills to further develop your great idea.
Do you want to develop your entrepreneurship, innovation, design and business skills?

The UQ IdeaHub Entrepreneurship Program provides students with the opportunity to build networks with other students, idea-makers and seasoned entrepreneurs for a strong, well-connected start to their entrepreneurial journey. The Program also provides students with the opportunity to form and test early stage ideas for potential commercial opportunity. All SISCA prize winners will be accepted in to the UQ IdeaHub 2019 Entrepreneurship Program, which includes:

  • Mentoring from successful entrepreneurs from the local and international community;
  • Workshops to develop ideas and methods of designing, prototyping and testing;
  • Networking with other student idea makers and seasoned entrepreneurs; and
  • A dedicated space operating 24/7, where you can work, discuss and test your ideas in an innovative environment.
How to make it happen

Eligibility & Rules
  • Individual students or student teams are eligible to enter.
  • Teams must be comprised of at least one UQ undergraduate or postgraduate student.
  • Former SISCA first-prize winners are not eligible to apply for the ‘startup-ready’ prize, however are still encouraged to apply for one of the $2500 ‘early-stage’ idea prizes.
  • Submissions must have a tangible engineering focus and address sustainable production and utilisation of energy and materials, and align with the spirit of Dow's 2025 Sustainability Goals.
  • Submissions are to be made online via StudentHub by midnight Friday 28 September 2018. No extensions will be possible.
  • Winners are selected based on high-level criteria established by Dow and the University of Queensland, including:
    • Potential for solving world challenges in alignment with the spirit of Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals;
    • Interdisciplinary nature of work, for example, applied sciences, engineering, economics, public policy, social studies, business; and
    • Innovative thinking and excellence in research.
  • Prizes are paid in equal shares to each team member.
  • All prize winners will participate in workshops and/or training arranged by the Dow Centre relating to accounting for entrepreneurs to ensure sound financial management of prize money.
  • All prize winners will participate in the UQ IdeaHub Entrepreneurship Development Program in 2019 (if not already undertaken in 2018).
  • On invitation by the Dow Centre, all prize winners will present the progress of their idea and/or business after approximately one year to the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation Advisory Board and/or 2019 SISCA finalists (both to occur in late 2019) to demonstrate how you have used your prize money and new skills to further develop your great idea or scale-up your new business.
Ready to get inspired?