UTIC Inaugural Challenge – AUKUS Workforce Development – NOW OPEN
UTIC’s Challenge program is focused on identifying innovative solutions to pressing undersea technology, workforce development and supply chain challenges. Competing teams from academic and vocational programs in the AUKUS countries will be invited to submit innovative strategies and approaches focused on select marine and undersea challenge scenarios. Teams will be judged by industry and defense experts and will compete for scholarship and academic program funding awards starting at $15,000.
“The partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States is an opportunity to share both physical resources and intellectual capital to improve security and trilateral ties. Maintaining long-term growth and innovation within AUKUS will require developing the future workforce. Industry and academia will need to partner to build a solid foundation for the next generation of innovators and manufacturers,” stated U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Participation in the Inaugural Challenge is a 2-step process. Interested teams must 1) complete and submit an application, and once accepted as a valid participant by UTIC 2) prepare and submit their Challenge Submission. See APPLICATION AND HANDBOOK below for more information on how to participate in the Challenge.
Timing of the Challenge
- Stage 1–Participating Team Applications
- Applications must be submitted via email, and accepted teams will be invited to submit a proposal
- Stage 2–Participating Team Challenge Q&A with UTIC
- Ends November 13, 2023
- Stage 3–Challenge Submissions
- To be received by 5 PM EST, December 15, 2023
- Stage 4–Judging & Winners Announced
- Winners to be announced no later than March 18, 2024
- Post Award Recognition and Publication
- No later than April 15, 2024
INAUGURAL CHALLENGE (2023-2024): WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Seeking innovative strategies to strengthen the training environment for technologists who develop critical undersea technology and manufacturing professionals who build and support undersea technologies.
See below for Participants Handbook and Q&A updates (17 Oct).
Application and Handbook
Before completing and submitting an application for the UTIC Workforce Development Challenge, please review the Participants Handbook for more details on the Challenge requirements and expectations. The latest version of the Participants Handbook can be viewed and downloaded here.
To submit an application to be invited to participate, download the application, complete and sign it, and send a scanned/electronic copy of all pages of the signed application to [email protected]. Please add Workforce Development Challenge in the subject of the email.
All valid applications must be submitted by via email to be considered for this challenge. Applications will be reviewed, and acceptable teams will be invited via email to submit a proposal for the challenge.
For more information about the Challenge scenario, submission requirements and format recommendations, and current Challenge timeline, please review the latest copy of the Participants Handbook (updated 24 Oct) and visit the updated Q&A section below.
Who is UTIC?
The mission of the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium (UTIC) is to foster and support a collaborative environment for commercial, academic, and nonprofit organizations focused on the rapid development of innovative undersea and maritime technologies. UTIC is US-based non-profit organization with over 500 members that leverages research, undersea and maritime community collaboration, and education and workforce development programs to fulfill its mission.
Why is UTIC sponsoring the Workforce Development Challenge?
UTIC has created Workforce Development Challenge to identify innovative solutions to pressing undersea technology challenges through engagement with academia. UTIC hopes to seed academic investment in the most innovative workforce development concepts for future undersea technology growth in defense and commercial environments.
The Workforce Development Challenge
What is the focus of the Challenge?
The Workforce Development Challenge seeks innovative strategies to strengthen the training environment for either current/future technologists who develop critical undersea technology or manufacturing professionals who build and support undersea technologies. Participating academic teams will reference a specific challenge scenario (described in the Participants Handbook) as the basis to prepare and present training and workforce development strategies either for innovative technologists or focused manufacturers involved in solving the identified challenge.
Who can participate in the Challenge?
Teams comprised of students from accredited higher education academic organizations or upper-level (high school) vocational programs in the AUKUS alliance countries are invited to participate. Each participating team member and their leader must be a citizen (naturally born/naturalized) of one of the AUKUS countries.
Please see Participants Handbook for more information and requirements.
What is the timing of the Challenge?
Note: Check underseatech.org/challenge for the most up to date information. This will be a “gated” challenge. Applications will be submitted and reviewed. Approved applications will then be eligible to submit a proposal.
Stage 1–Participating Team Applications
Application form can be found at underseatech.org/challenge.
Applications must be submitted to UTIC via email.
Applicants will be notified by UTIC via email if they are accepted to submit a proposal.
Stage 2–Challenge Q&A Period
Questions can be submitted to [email protected] with Q&A Submission in the subject line.
Q&A updates will be posted online at www.underseatech.org/challenge.
Q&A period ends November 13, 2023.
Stage 3–Challenge Submissions
To be received by 5 PM EST, 15 December 2023.
Stage 4–Judging & Winners Announced
Winners to be announced in March 2024.
Post Award Recognition and Publication
Expected in March-April 2024.
Please check underseatech.org/challenge for the most up to date timing.
How do invited teams participate in the Challenge?
Participating teams will submit a 15-page, research supported position paper outlining their approach and strategy or strategies to the chosen category to address the scenario challenge.
Please see Participants Handbook for more information and submission guidelines and guidance.
How will teams be evaluated in the Challenge? (UPDATED 17 OCT)
UTIC staff and partner evaluators will be assessing each challenge submission based on 3 criteria areas: the impact of the strategy, the creativity/innovation of the recommendation, and the feasibility/scalability of the recommended strategy and approach.
Please see Participants Handbook for more information on the evaluation criteria.
What is the award/recognition for Challenge winners?
UTIC will award at least one award per challenge category (a training recommendation for experts to develop undersea tech, and a training recommendation for professional that build undersea tech) in the sum of at least $15000 to the winning team per category. This monetary award will be for use as scholarship funding or academic program development for students at the winning team’s academic institution.
All technically acceptable applications will be recognized within the UTIC membership, partners and in the media, and UTIC will publish the winning proposals.
(To be updated throughout the Q&A period).
Check back here for more supporting information and links to any additional reference material for the Workforce Development Challenge.
NEXT CHALLENGE (2024): SUPPLY CHAIN
Seeking innovative solutions to undersea technology supply chain challenges including transferring innovation from concept into the supply chain, and growing the flow of critical technology through the supply chain to deployment. Timing to be announced late 2023.
Please contact [email protected] for any additional questions about the UTIC Challenge program.