Application deadline looms for ‘Challenge to Innovate: NASA Edition’ competition
Puerto Rican undergraduate students majoring in electrical, mechanical, computer, agricultural, or industrial engineering, as well as computer science, have until Feb. 28 to apply to participate in the “Challenge to Innovate: NASA Edition” competition.
The initiative will give participants a workspace to build solutions with NASA technologies. The program is sponsored by pre-acceleration program pre18 and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) — both part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust — together with the innovation center Engine-4.
On Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, interested students will have the opportunity to participate in the virtual “Applicathon” event, during which they will have access to an orientation with trained personnel, may clear up doubts and complete the application process. Each orientation session will be available to 15 students for 30 minutes.
At the end of the open call period, the 60 chosen participants will have access to six NASA technologies for 12 weeks. Pupils will develop and evaluate a unique commercialization plan for solutions in the agriculture and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries during this time.
Throughout the program, students will receive training and mentorship from pre18 experts. Participants will also receive support from TTO to better understand patents and technology. All the while, they will have access to Engine-4 in Bayamón, which will provide them with a workplace to prototype.
The 12 weeks of the program will run in a hybrid format: six weeks of virtual learning, and six will be partially face-to-face with all the required security measures at the Engine-4 innovation center in Bayamón.
Upon completing the program, students will have the opportunity to present their projects at an “Industry Day” to interact with potential clients within the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry to validate and create their value propositions. Participants will also be pitching their solutions with a chance to win four cash prizes, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.