Your chance to Innovate and Win £2,500

The Digital Innovation Challenge, in partnership with the University of Manchester,  aims to showcase and recognise the capabilities of students in digital innovation. A prize of £2,500 will be given to the individual or team that presents the best innovation to meet any challenge relating to Industry 4.0.

This competition offers students the chance to present in front of a panel of Industry 4.0 experts as well as exhibit at the Industry 4.0 Expo. A fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your innovation and network with companies, investors, employers and individuals from government and academia.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is a term that describes the technological breakthroughs that will power the next industrial revolution. It’s about connectivity, between people, machines and devices, analysing large volumes of data, ‘Big Data’, to boost efficiency and productivity, working with cobots (collaborative robots which work closely with humans), using augmented reality and 3D printing. It’s about making industry smarter, more flexible and more efficient.


The 2020 competition is open to both individuals and teams. Teams can contain up to six people but the team must be either current students (undergraduate or postgraduate from any Higher Education Institution) or have graduated since January 2019.

Judging Criteria:

We are looking for innovative applications that can be developed for industrial use.

  • Innovation and novelty
  • Relevance to Industry 4.0
  • Practicality
  • Market opportunity
  • Presentation skills

Submission Details:

Applicants must submit a 250-word summary and a 30-60 second video. The video does not need to be professional (using mobile phones is fine).


The competition takes place in 2 stages: the First round and the Final round. In the First round, up to 8 entries will be shortlisted and invited to the Final round.

The Final round will be held at the Industry 4.0 Summit & Expo on 31st March – 1st April in front of a judging panel.  This will be a 15-minute presentation followed by up to 10 minutes of questions from the panel.

First Round:

The deadline for competition entry is Friday 6th March 2019 at 23:59hrs

The judges will evaluate the viability of your innovative solution based on the information provided in the 250 word summary and 30-60 second video.

Entrants can submit more than one entry, but remember this is not an ideas competition and the judges will be assessing how well developed your innovative solution is.

All finalists will be notified by 5pm, Monday 16th March 2020. An email will be sent to the lead entrant only, who will need to confirm within 48 hours that they can present to the panel as specified.

Final Round

Each finalist will be asked to present to the Final Round Judging Panel.  Each presentation will last no more than 15 minutes and will be followed by up to 10 minutes of questioning.  The presentation can be in any format. A table, projector and laptop will be provided. At least one member of the submitting team must attend and make the presentation. Any Finalist not able to present for any reason will be disqualified from the competition.

Presentations will take place at Manchester Central during the Industry 4.0 Summit & Expo 31st March – 1st April. The exact timings of finalists presentations will be confirmed in March 2020.

Exhibition Space:

All finalists will be offered a space to exhibit their solution at the Industry 4.0 Expo. Details will be provided.

Competition Schedule:

Competition opens: 24th January 2020

Submission deadline: 6th March 2020

Finalists will be announced: 16th March 2020

Finalist Presentations: 31st March 2020

Display at Industry 4.0 Expo: 1st April 2020

Instructions for submitting your entry

To enter the Digital Innovation challenge 2019, email the following two documents to by the deadline of Friday 6th March 2020 at 23:59Hrs.

  1. Digital Innovation Challenge 2020 entry form and Executive Summary (Word doc) [DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM]
  2. Video [max 60 seconds, acceptable formats MP4, FLV, MOV, AVI)]

The documents should be sent as attachments within one e-mail. If your attachments exceed the maximum file size of 10MB please contact for alternative arrangements.

GOOD LUCK & REMEMBER: We are looking for:

Innovation and novelty * Relevance to Industry 4.0 * Practicality * Market opportunity * Presentation skills



Emmanuel Ayodele

University of Leeds 

Emmanuel won the 2019 Digital Innovation Challenge for designing a wearable textile with the capability of using the Internet of Things (IoT) and motion capture to assist rehabilitation… READ MORE



Alexander Agboola-Dobson, Sebastian Preston-Jensen, Maximillian Rimmer, Shao Hian Liew, Panagiotis Papathanasiou

University of Manchester

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