Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation
School of Chemical Engineering

Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA)

SISCA Banner

In order to ensure a more sustainable future, it’s essential that we promote and cultivate fresh ideas, innovative thinking and sustainable practices that balance environmental, societal and economic benefits. SISCA advances sustainable development, helping further Dow’s commitment to create positive change for tomorrow. Do you have a great idea? Is it engineering focussed? Then we want you!

Win up to $25,000 for your innovation

The Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovations is calling for submissions for innovative ideas with tangible engineering focus and in line with Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals. This is your chance to fund your ideas and create your own business through Dow's Sustainable Innovation Student Award Challenge (SISCA), offering $12,500 for the best engineering innovation proposal associated with sustainable production and utilisation of energy, materials, food or water. If this still isn’t good enough, the Dow Centre's Innovation Seed Fund will match the SISCA prize with another $12,500! 

Do you have an idea, but are in need of some cash and, perhaps, mentoring to turn it into a fully fletched business plan? In tandem with the SISCA competition the Dow Centre’s Innovation Seed Fund offers the opportunity to apply for one of ten available $2,500 grants that will assist you.

Depending on the level of development of your idea, the application pathway will follow.:

Flow Chart - Development Grant and SISCA Flow Chart

What do we offer?
  • Professional Differentiation – Want your C.V. to stand out?
  • Mentorship – Develop your idea with expert advice on us!
  • Connections with industry – Does your idea innovate industry? We know they’d love to hear it.
  • Funding & Laboratory Space – Access to lab space to develop your idea with funding.
Application Forms

Applications need to be completed using the relevant form below:

  • Application Form for the SISCA Prize and Matching fund: click here
  • Application Form for Proof of Concept / Development Grants (10  grants available): click here
Rules and Conditions:  
  • At least one of the team members needs to be a full-time student at UQ (PhD, Masters or Undergraduate) at the time of submission and able to provide proof of enrollment on request.   Previous SISCA first prize winners are excluded from the competition.  
  • A team can be comprised of one or more team members.
  • The scope for both the SISCA prize and the Proof of Concept / Development Grants is an engineering innovation associated with sustainable production and utilisation of energy, materials, food or water.  
  • In addition, if you apply for the SISCA prize, your idea also needs to be in line with the spirit of Dow's 2025 Sustainability Goals
  • Finalists for both SISCA and the Proof of Concept / Development Grant are expected to present their pitch in front of a jury panel. 
  • The $12,500 SISCA first place cash prize is awarded to the team and will be paid out in equal shares to each team member.
  • The Dow Centre's SISCA matching fund of $12,500 is paid in arrears and needs to be invested in further developing your business.  The full amount of the 2017 award is claimable only till the 31st of December 2018.
  • The Proof of Concept / Development Grants of $2,500 are paid in arrears and can only be used for activities & purchases that lead to further developing your idea.  The full amount of the 2017 award is claimable only till the 31st of December 2018.
  • If the deadline for the Expression of Interest is missed, the application can still be submitted.

Please email your expressions of interest and/or submissions to Mr Ben Kefford at 

Expressions of Interest Sunday 10 September 2017 (Midnight)
Submissions Deadline Sunday 1 October 2017 (Midnight)
Announcement of Finalists Thursday 12 October 2017
Finals & Award Ceremony Thursday 19 October 2017, late afternoon (provisional)

Application Forms

2017 Submission Deadline EXTENDED

Please note that the deadline has been extended to Sunday 1st of October, midnight

Abstracts of previous SISCA Finalists