Manchester University is backing a new IoT competition known as the Digital Innovation Challenge, where students will be tasked with developing solutions for Industry 4.0.
Describing the next stage in the evolution of manufacturing, Industry 4.0 will see factories equipped with sensors and IoT enabled machinery that will improve productivity. Connectivity between workers, machines and devices, combined with analytics of big data, should see the emergence of smart factories that are more efficient. Other technologies associated with Industry 4.0 include advanced robotics and cobots, augmented reality and 3D printing.
Those who enter the IoT competition will be asked to develop innovative applications that can be developed for industrial use. The expectation is that solutions will go beyond the drawing board and be realised in prototypes. Teams can consist of individuals or up to groups of six, with all participants currently studying at either graduate or postgraduate level. The winning team will be awarded a cash prize of £2,500.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your innovation and also to network with companies, investors, employers, policy-makers and academics,” said competition co-organiser Dr Carl Driver from Manchester University.
“[Industry 4.0] is about connectivity between people, machines and devices, analysing large volumes of ‘Big Data’ to boost efficiency, working with ‘cobots’ – collaborative robots which work closely with humans – as well as using augmented reality and 3D printing. It’s also about making industry smarter, more flexible and more efficient.”
Applicants must initially submit a 250-word summary and a 30-60 second video by Monday 15th January 2018. Following that, eight finalists will be chosen and asked to present their idea in a 15 minute presentation at the Industry 4.0 Summit in Manchester on Wednesday 28th February. Projects will be judged on innovation and novelty; relevance to Industry 4.0; practicality; market opportunity; and presentation skills. Information on how to enter can be found here.