Student Bionics Challenge

Key Dates & Guidelines

Key Dates – 2024

(Any changes to these dates will be advised to all registered entrants by Bionics Gamechangers Australia via email and this website).

Key DatesStudent Bionics Challenge Milestone Activities
Monday, 16 September (5.00pm AEST)Entries close for the 2024 MAIC Qld Student Bionics Challenge
Thursday, 19 SeptemberOrientation Session for all teams (All Project Leaders must attend) - via Zoom; details to be provided
Friday, 4 OctoberRound 1 Pitch Event for all participating teams (virtual presentations via Zoom to Judging Panel)
Tuesday, 8 October and Wednesday, 9 OctoberBriefing Session for Finalists (1-hour session via Zoom on one of two dates to allow teams to refine Round 2 Pitch presentation)
Friday, 11 OctoberRound 2 Final Pitch to Judging Panel via Zoom
Monday, 14 OctoberChallenge winners to be notified by Bionics Gamechangers Australia. Winners to be briefed on media publicity involvement (compulsory for winning teams)
Tuesday, 15 OctoberMedia announcement of Student Bionics Challenge Winners (including in-person interviews and photography). NOTE: Winners required to sign Media Release Agreement.

How to enter the Student Challenge

Students (undergraduate, honours, masters and PhD) from all Queensland universities are invited to form teams and submit early stage plans for a new/improved bionic device, treatment or implant to this exciting Challenge.

At Bionics Gamechangers Australia, we are interested in ‘new to the world ideas’ that change the status quo plus projects that markedly improve the design, usability and end-user benefits of an existing device, implant or treatment.

Bionic innovations that underpin Student Challenge entries should align with our definition of bionics (see below) and one or more innovation domains promoted by Bionics Gamechangers Australia (bionic mobility, bionic senses, brain-computer interfaces and neurobionic treatments, and/or bionic implants and organs).

Definition of Medical Bionics

“Genuine bionic solutions include electrical, mechanical and bio-fabricated interfaces, interventions and implants that deliver full or partial restoration or enhancement of a human function or treatment of trauma/injury, disease, disabilities and complex health conditions”.

Importantly, all student teams entering the 2024 MAIC Qld Student Bionics Innovation Challenge must demonstrate the relevance of their idea or project to the needs of individuals impacted by road accident injuries and/or road accident-related trauma, disability and disease.

Bionics devices and treatments typically include: prostheses, implants, devices, electrical stimulation, artificial organs and AI-enabled devices that replace or improve human functionality and/or stimulate the brain, nerves, muscle or tissue regeneration. Advances in sensors, sensing and control systems, soft robotics, tissue engineering and biofabrication, smart wearables and digital health contribute to the overall functionality and ease-of-use of these bionic innovations.

All submissions to the 2024 MAIC QLD Student Bionics Challenge must be received online by the listed due date.

Guidelines for the preparation of your submission (an 8-10-page proposal with Appendices) are shown below.

At the ‘front end’ of the submission, introduce your medical bionics innovation and clearly define the ‘unmet market need’ it will address. Here, it is important to evaluate any existing solutions or ways of ‘solving the problem’ that exist or are currently being developed. Your brief outline of any existing devices, treatments or implants (or components of these) that seek to solve the same problem should be linked to the specific type(s) of accident-related trauma, injury or related disease of interest to your team.

Next, provide a full explanation of your proposed innovation (key elements plus overall design and development). Be sure to summarise all relevant standards to be met (e.g., medical, scientific, engineering, quality management requirements) alongside your explanation of its unique features and benefits. The importance of the idea or innovation (what is unique about it that will ensure it solves the market need) should be referenced in detailing your design and standards to be met.

With your bionic innovation fully outlined, your team should return to your team’s core driver… the unmet market need. A comprehensive discussion of the market rationale for your innovation should leave the judges in no doubt that it will truly ‘change the game’ for clinicians and/or allied health service providers and end-users.

Take the time to outline why your team believes the new or improved device, treatment or implant will enjoy success in the marketplace and steps that have been taken (or will be taken) to engage key opinion leaders (KOLs) and end-users/consumers in testing your early-stage concept or prototype.

Finally, summarise all key prongs in your Umbrella Plan (broad streams of work and activities needed to deliver the solution) and provide a simple budget. Some key elements (examples) of the contents of the team’s early-stage Design Journal or Project Portfolio might be expected in the appendices e.g., illustrations, images and/or list of brief interviews with opinion leaders, technical advisors and/or end-users.

Provide a brief, but powerful conclusion on the main features, benefits, impacts and indicators of success the team will employ. Project submissions should include the key steps your team will take to involve end users or key stakeholders in the design. In addition, outline the steps to be taken in the medium-long term to achieve regulatory approval, manage intellectual property and move the device, implant or treatment from initial design and basic prototyping to market testing and commercialisation.

At the end of your submission, include a final ‘boxed’ summary of all project components, key activities to be undertaken and the funds your team will need to complete the early stages of the project – include broad, ballpark estimates only.

NOTE: All teams should attach a written reference or letter of recommendation from a university, industry or clinical leader with their submission. Informal mentoring and/or interaction with a program, course or unit coordinator/lecturer or a clinical opinion leader should be detailed (this is a desirable inclusion for all Student Bionics Challenge projects).

Check all Terms and Conditions for entry to the 2024 MAIC Qld Student Bionics Challenge prior to submitting your application.

Bionics Challenge 2022

Delivered in partnership with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (Queensland), the Challenge has again provided $300,000 in combined cash prizes, mentoring and acceleration.