Industrial Collaboration Award


This award recognizes micro-nanosystems research that has produced substantive results with commercial potential and is supported by an industrial collaborator.

Collaboration benefits are widespread and can lead to new industrial processes, enhancements to commercial products, spinoff companies, and highly qualified next-generation innovators. Innovations can be applicable across major economic sectors – information and communications, healthcare and biomedical devices, transportation, energy and security.

The award is open to graduate students of a Canadian university.

Winners are strongly encouraged to use prize funds to support education or training related to micro-nanosystems R&D and may be applied to the cost of attending a conference or workshop or visiting a lab or other technical facility inside or outside of Canada.

Judges, Judging Criteria

The judging panel will consist of two representatives from Canadian industries and one faculty member from a Canadian university. Judges are asked to select the exhibit that best meets the following criteria:

Criterion 1: Technical Excellence (20 points)

  • Success in demonstration of the technology. Did it work/is the technique practical?
  • Originality of design or novelty of technique.
  • Level of difficulty attempted; creativity/perseverance in overcoming problems during development.
  • Degree of excellence in taking advantage of the features of component technologies and/or of integrating component functionality.
  • Exhibitor’s grasp of the technical aspects of the project; understanding of tradeoffs (cost, power size) and worst/best-case design considerations.
  • Clear understanding of the importance of this project, i.e., why is this problem important?

Criterion 2: Application to Industry (20 points)

  • What value does this offer to the industrial collaborator? Is it a significant or incremental solution? How does it compare to existing solutions?
  • Probable application area within the company, e.g., Ethernet, switches, routers?
  • Is the commercial application practical in terms of manufacturing, form factor, and economics?
  • Nature of the interaction/participation between the company and the researcher, e.g., on-site work or design reviews?
  • Extent of investment by the industrial collaborator, e.g., time invested or students trained/hired?

Criterion 3: Presentation Excellence and Visual Effectiveness (10 Points)

  • Explanation of the background information or theory in a form understandable to one’s peers.
  • Clarity of explanation of key technical points.
  • Fluency in explanation, interplay between those making the presentation.
  • Humour, flair, originality.
  • Smooth recovery from an unexpected problem.
  • Quality and effectiveness of visual/written materials.

Note: Where projects have been undertaken by a team and over a period of time, the presenter must clearly differentiate what the current contribution is, including their own contribution.