The Ingenium Innovation Challenge
Are you passionate about tackling hard problems? Looking for ways to proactively fight the dread of eco-anxiety?
We share with you a simple desire: to create a better future.
What better way than to pool your talent and creativity with the next generation of innovators to inspire change, and to take action! Climate change requires meaningful action, unconventional thinking and bold courage. That’s why we invite you to take part in Ingenium’s first ever Innovation Challenge in May 2023!
Post-secondary students are invited to compete in teams to raise awareness about the topic of Climate Action, but more importantly, to inspire action that leads to meaningful change. How will you do this? By developing a digital product over a period of 72 hours inside the state-of-the-art Digital Innovation Lab within the Ingenium Centre.
Over the course of the weekend, teams will draw inspiration from a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ingenium collection, workshops led by experts, and one-on-one guidance from industry professionals.
The winning team will be awarded $15,000! Along with dedicated funding and mentorship guidance to further develop their proof-of-concept into a marketable product for the general public to use.
When and Where
The event will be taking place May 5-7, 2023 in Ingenium’s Digital Innovation Lab, located beside the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.
Ingenium’s 2023 Innovation Challenge will be bringing together post-secondary students across the STEAMB (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Business) landscape to build a digital prototype to inspire Canadian youth on actions they can take in their everyday lives to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. The product should enable Canadian youth aged 9-12 (grades 4-7) to better understand how their actions and decisions relate to climate change, help them find ways to take action, and lead to positive climate action.
The event will kick-off on Friday evening with a panel presentation from experts who have taken innovative climate action themselves. Over the weekend, teams will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ingenium collection storage to learn about artifacts used in climate science and a tour of the new exhibition, Our Climate Quest, at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. They will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and receive one-on-one coaching from industry experts. Inspired by these information sessions, participants will begin ideating and developing innovative solutions using their choice of a digital output: website, game/app, virtual reality, augmented reality, or other mixed reality application.
The winning team will be awarded $15,000 along with dedicated funding and mentorship guidance to further develop their proof-of-concept into a marketable product for the general public to use.
How do I apply?
Students must self-organize into teams of three to six and the team lead must apply on behalf of their team by 11:59pm April 5th, 2023 using the link below. The team lead must include full name, email, academic institution, and degree for themselves as well as all team members and tell us, in 300 words or less, why they want to participate in the Ingenium Innovation Challenge. Preference will be given to teams who have participants from across the STEAMB fields.
If you do not have a team but wish to participate, you may apply as an individual for the chance to be sorted into a team with other individual applicants.
Diversity and Inclusion
Confirmation emails will be sent to all team participants following registration with a link to self-identify, if they so choose.
Ingenium strongly believes that inclusivity requires social and cultural diversity. This will be achieved by increasing equity group representation (including persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, those who represent gender diversity, and women) as part of all our initiatives. We encourage individuals who belong to one or more of the equity-deserving groups mentioned above to self-identify. This information will not be shared with other participants.
Ingenium is committed to ensuring an accessible experience for all. Students selected to participate in the event will be emailed individually for dietary restrictions and accessibility requirements. Participants will be sent pre-recorded videos on accessibility in design ahead of the event. Both the accessibility and UX of the product will be a judging criterion.
- Post-secondary student or recent graduate from an undergraduate, certificate, or diploma program from a STEAMB field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Business) of any Canadian institution.
- Must be in Ottawa or arrange travel and housing arrangements to Ottawa for the weekend of the event.
- A willingness and excitement to tackle challenges and think innovatively.
Application Deadline: 11:59pm, April 5, 2023
Please submit one application per team.
February 13, 2023: Application Opens.
April 10, 2023: Deadline to Apply. Chosen teams will be contacted by email once the judges have selected the final participants.
May 5, 2023: Innovation Challenge begins.
May 6, 2023: Innovation Challenge continues.
May 7, 2023: Final day of Innovation Challenge with awards ceremony.
June - November 2023: Winning team works with experts from Ingenium and its partners to further develop their proof-of-concept into a marketable product for the general public.
You must self-organize into teams of three to six and apply using the registration button above. You must be prepared to include names, emails, academic institutions, and degree for all members of the team, team name, and describe in 300 words or less why your team wants to participate in this Innovation Challenge.
If you do not have a team but wish to participate, you may apply as an individual for the chance to be sorted into a team.
A panel of judges will be reviewing all submissions and collectively voting on the teams who will be participating. Preference will be given to teams who have participants from across the STEAMB fields.
The team lead of each selected team will be contacted by email. If you do not respond within three days, another team will be selected.
If you would like to participate, but don’t have a team, register using the “Register as Individual” button on the registration page. If enough individual participants reach out, you may be organized into a team.
You absolutely do not need to be able to code to participate! As long as you are a current student or recent graduate from a STEAMB undergraduate, certificate, or diploma program, and you have a passion for tackling hard problems with like-minded people, we encourage you to apply!
The Ingenium Centre is located at 1865 St. Laurent Blvd in Ottawa, Ontario, next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
All participants will be provided with a 3-day bus pass for public transit. To reach the Ingenium Centre by bus, use the OC Transpo Travel Planner. You can also call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390.
Visitor drop-off and pick-up is allowed at the main entrance to the Ingenium Centre. Ingenium is also covering parking fees for participants.
Dinner will be provided on May 5th, all meals on May 6th, and breakfast and lunch on May 7th, 2023.
If your team has been selected to participate, you will receive an email asking for your dietary restrictions.
The Ingenium Centre and the Digital Innovation Lab have multiple accessibility features that allow everyone to exist and thrive in its environment. We will ensure that capacity for the event allows individuals to move freely and comfortably within the space. If you are selected to participate in the event, you will receive an email asking if you have any accessibility requirements. Some of the main accessibility features of the Ingenium Centre are:
- Accessible parking spaces (at no charge). Visitor drop-off and pick-up is allowed at the main entrance to the Ingenium Centre.
- An elevator (the Digital Innovation Lab is located one floor up from the main entrance)
- Automatic doors at all entrances and at most doors inside the building
- Universally accessible washroom with adult-size changing table (including gender-inclusive facilities)
- Multiple quiet rooms that will be available during the event for the participants
- Dimmable lighting
- Posters and signs are equipped with Braille in both official languages
- Access to a refrigerator for any medication and food storage
- The Digital Innovation Lab is also equipped with moveable tables and working stations with adjustable height, flip-up whiteboard tables that allow for wheelchair access, a large adjustable-height touchscreen, and Sennheiser MobileConnect which allows users access to adjustable, live presentation audio via a smartphone app and synced headphones or hearing aids
Ingenium is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive experience to all its visitors. Please make any accommodations requests in the registration form or let us know how we can improve your experience by contacting Lauren DiVito.
The Digital Innovation Lab is equipped with public wifi, adjustable furniture, and power outlets. Please bring your own laptop. While Ingenium will provide drinks, water fountains and re-usable water bottle filling stations are also available in the Ingenium Centre if you wish to bring your own bottle.
Masking is optional. Participants are asked to not attend if they are feeling unwell.
There are no fees for registration. Participants will be provided with a 3-day bus pass.
If you can’t find the answer to your question above, don’t hesitate to reach out by email to Lauren DiVito, Manager of the Digital Innovation Lab.
About the Ingenium Digital Innovation Lab
The Digital Innovation (DI) Lab is a collaborative hub for exploring innovative ways to improve access to museums spaces, collections, and experiences for all Canadians. Working with academia, start-ups, visitor-serving industries, and the accessibility community, the DI Lab explores emerging technologies, user experience and accessible design to create more inclusive experiences for everyone.