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Technology, Design and Innovation Challenge Launches for 2019

The Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge is back for 2019. The Manufacturing Technologies Association’s (MTA) flagship school’s competition is now open for entries.

The national competition encourages students to submit their existing coursework projects, which would go towards either their GCSE, A-Level or BTEC qualifications.

Mike Falconer, Education and Development Manager at the MTA said “We’re pleased to launch this year’s edition of the TDI Challenge. Every year we’re amazed by all the fantastic projects that are entered. TDI lets students use their imaginations to create something unique, the level of skill and application of manufacturing processes on show always astounds the judges.

He continued “for many former winners and entrants this competition has been their first step into a career in manufacturing and engineering - we’re excited to see what this year will bring.”

There are four prize categories to be judged, two in each age group which are 14-16 and 17-19. Each age category have two prizes up for grabs for individual and group projects. The winner in each category will receive an individual prize (including iPads, GoPro cameras, Minirig speakers and drones) as well as up to £2000 of funding to spend on new Design and Technology (D&T) equipment for the classroom.

  • Individual student aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Individual student aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)
  • Student group (3- 6 members) aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Student group (3-6 members) aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)

Previous winners and participants have used the TDI as a springboard into the industry, last year’s winner in the 17-19 age category was Robbie MacIsaac of Strathallan School in Perth Scotland. His FLUX Blowpipe design, reduced the amount of moisture that gathers in a Bagpipes, Blowpipe when performing, his project gained a lot of attention and appeared on BBC Radio Scotland, the Times, the Scotsman newspaper and many other publications.  

Robbie said of winning the competition “It is class, I am absolutely buzzing after traveling seven and a half hours to get here it was definitely worth it. Just through all the people I have met and all these contacts I have made. I’m really looking forward to working with the people that I have met.

He continued “From here I am looking to get my product to market and make a company out of it, so it is really exciting.”

The judges said that Robbie’s project was “well researched and a great use of materials. This product has a large potential market and Robbie’s presentation demonstrated the potential of his product.”

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 15 May 2019, and only one application per student or group will be accepted.  Schools are permitted to enter multiple students. Students cannot enter both the individual and group categories.  Finalists will be notified by Friday 7 June 2019. The TDI Challenge is open to any student living in the United Kingdom.  Entries must be from current students submitting current coursework, not work from a previous year.

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 Wednesday 3 July 2019. 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.