September marks the kickoff of the annual
Soldier Design Competition, in which teams compete for cash
prizes by applying their creativity and engineering skill
to the problems of the modern Soldier. The goal is to generate
new products and systems that will help the modern Soldier
both on and off the battlefield. Focused on practical, non-weapons
products like body armor cooling systems and battery rechargers,
the technology that comes out of the Competition often has
dual-use potential for firefighters, police, or even athletes.
The Competition is open to any member of the MIT community
(including alumni and parents), as well as to Cadets from
the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Each year, the Competition offers participants a choice of
specific design challenges
based on the needs of real Soldiers, as well as an open design
category for creative new ideas. Technical and military mentors
help teams understand performance specifications, field conditions,
and Soldiers' needs. Teams own the intellectual property rights
to their inventions and are encouraged to pursue commercialization
of successful designs that can have near-term impact. Several
of the teams from previous years have gone on to form companies,
refine their prototypes, and even work directly with the Army
to bring their technology to Soldiers in the field.
At last year's Finals, six
MIT and USMA took away $20,000 in prize
money for a host of creative new technologies ranging from
an integrated beacon and tracking device to an endothermic
The Soldier Design Competition is sponsored by the Institute
for Soldier Nanotechnologies using non-Army monies.
For more information about any aspect of the Competition,
please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to Competition main page.