Ideas and Innovation Tournament Challenge

Phase 1 problem-solution statements must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on December 13th, 2019.

Mission Statement

Ideas and Innovation Tournament Challenge (I2TC) is a fun and effective way for aspiring Purdue students to form interdisciplinary teams and propose ideas aimed at solving important societal problems, improving people’s lives, and making the world a better place. The competition offers students a unique opportunity for idea generation, teamwork, problem solving and value creation. The educational purpose of the competition is to simulate the experience of being an engineer entrepreneur. The top three teams will be selected by a panel of judges and receive cash awards with the top prize of (per team) $5,000, runner-up of $3,000 and the third place $2,000. In addition, the top three teams can receive an additional $5,000 to move their ideas further along the innovation path through filing for a provisional patent, participating in the Purdue Foundry FireStarter program for entrepreneurs, and staring a company. Other teams qualified for the second phase but not among the top three will also receive $500 per team.

What's involved?

The tournament is organized in two phases, in the first phase, students form teams and propose a novel solution to an important unsolved societal problem (see the list of suggested topics). ECE technology (device, app, software, etc.) must be a key driver of the proposed solution. The organizing committee will select the top 20 problem/solution statements. The down-selection in phase 1 will be based on identification of an important unsolved problem and an innovative but feasible solution that can be the basis for a patent and potential startup company. The selected teams will then move to the second phase in which they are required to pitch their idea to a panel of judges for the final selection.


  • Health and Wellness: Sleep, Food and diet, Exercise, Aging, Diagnostics, Therapeutics
  • Food and Agriculture: Agricultural sensors, Automation data and information management, Robotics in food and agriculture, Food safety, Food packaging and logistics
  • Automation and Robotics: Robots soft and hard, Automated and intelligent workplace, Smart cities, Smart homes, Smart farming, Smart factories
  • Energy and Environment: Renewables, Energy efficiency, Energy storage, Air and water quality, Pollution, Remediation
  • Transportation: Autonomous vehicles, Drones and balloons, Aviation, Rail transport, Sea and ocean shipping

Tournament Rules

  • Open to all Purdue students
  • Each team must include at least one ECE student
  • Each team can only submit one idea
  • Each student can only be on one team

Things to Keep in Mind

Team size and composition: The team size must be 2 or 3 (max). Teams must include at least one ECE student. Formation of interdisciplinary teams from different schools and colleges (e.g., engineering-agriculture, engineering-veterinary medicine, engineering-business, engineering-nursing, engineering-liberal arts.) are strongly encouraged but not necessary.

Deadlines: Keep the submission window in mind, phase 1 problem-solution statements must be submitted by 5pm Dec 13th 2019.

Phase 1 problem-solution statement format:See link at top of page.

Phase 2: TBA

For more information, contact:

Babak Ziaie
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering