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Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge

The MTA's TDI Challenge exists to help teachers and lecturers to promote the great work of their D&T and Engineering students and to celebrate the creativity and innovation taking place inside the curriculum. In turn, the competition helps our industry to better understand the challenges that education is facing and how we might be able to assist through collaboration.


The TDI Challenge has four categories, and is open to anyone in the UK who has created an impressive Design & Technology or Engineering project within school.

  • Individual student aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Individual student aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)
  • Student group (3- 8 members) aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Student group (3-8 members) aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)


Students simply submit a summary of their existing coursework/group projects so no extra work is required.

It's free and there's nothing to lose, students can win prizes including an iPad, GoPro, UE Boom Speaker, drone plus many more. The winning school in each category will also win £2000 of funding for their school's D&T department. Many students enter with their existing coursework projects, so it is not necessary to spend a lot of time creating a new project, although we also welcome projects developed especially for the TDI Challenge! Plus, finalists get a tour of a modern manufacturing plant and the opportunity to build links with their local engineering firms.

Some previous winners and finalists have been offered apprenticeships or scholarships as a result of their work, or have raised over £8,000 in kickstarters to take their product to market. This competition really can help to shape their future.

Follow us on Twitter @MTA_Education #TDIChallenge

Please email if you’d like to be reminded of the closing date nearer the time.  Be creative! Previous winners have included Stackamals, a high end Chick Brooder, a spherical wheel, a hydroponic lighting system, a sports device for a beep test and an outdoor expedition water boiler. Check out the list at the bottom of the page for all previous winning projects.

There are no restrictions on the project that you enter, as long as it fits with the judging criteria.  You can see the group judging criteria and the individual judging criteria at the bottom of this page.

You will need to complete an application form (see downloads at the bottom of this page) and send it to us at  No additional documents should be sent with your entry.  Alternatively, you can post your entries to:

TDI Challenge, Education & Development Department, Manufacturing Technologies Association, 62 Bayswater Road, London, W2 3PS

Please note the closing date is Friday 22 May 2020,Schools are permitted to enter multiple students and projects. Students cannot enter both the individual and group categories.  Finalists will be notified by Friday 5th June.

Applications are evaluated by a panel of judges who select the top twenty projects to attend the TDI Challenge Final hosted at Yamazaki Mazak's European Technology Centre in Worcester on Thursday 2nd July 2020. Finalists must be able to attend on this date with their finished project, substitutes from the same school will not be accepted.

The chosen finalists display their portfolio of work in Mazak's atrium, and give a brief presentation to the judging panel who will decide the overall prize winners. All finalists will receive a guided tour of the European Technology Centre, a presentation certificate and goodie bag to take home.  Schools are offered press-release templates and photographs from the day to assist in their own local profile-raising.

TDI Challenge Final 2016

TDI Challenge Final 2017