MTConnect Institute Announces First-Ever MTConnect Student Challenge

Competition Offers $33,000 in Prize Money for Ideas and Applications

McLean, Va. (May 4, 2015) … College students with an interest in bringing together software and hardware solutions to improve manufacturing operations now have an opportunity to leverage their creativity and innovative know-how through the MTConnect Student Challenge, a competition that invites submissions for both ideas and applications utilizing the MTConnect standard.

Announced at last week’s [MC]2 Conference in Chicago, the MTConnect Student Challenge is offering a total of $33,000 in cash prizes for winning submissions. MTConnect is an open-source, XML-based communications standard that fosters connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices. This Challenge builds on the success of previous competitions that sought submissions from industry professionals related to the use of MTConnect. The MTConnect Student Challenge is open to community college and university students at the undergraduate and graduate level and may be of particular interest to students who are studying manufacturing-related fields; electrical, mechanical or industrial engineering; as well as software engineering and IT-related studies.

 “The MTConnect Student Challenge seeks to engage the higher education community to promote innovative thinking and ideas, and ultimately to enable manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs for the defense manufacturing industry,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of the MTConnect Institute and President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “It is our collective hope that the MTConnect Student Challenge will inspire a broader base of software and system architects; build a new, skilled workforce by increasing students’ awareness of advanced manufacturing technologies; and develop MTConnect applications that can easily be adopted by manufacturers of all sizes.”

MTConnect Student Challenge – Idea Creation

For the Ideation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. Submission opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available at

MTConnect Student Challenge – Application Development

For the Application competition, students will be required to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions

will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations – improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, etc.

The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. Submission opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on January 31, 2016. Winners will be announced April 20, 2016, at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Full rules and submission details are available at:

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free standard that fosters greater interoperability between devices and software applications. By establishing an open and extensible channel of communication between devices, equipment, and systems, MTConnect enables applications aimed at providing more efficient operations, improved production optimization, and increased productivity.     

The MTConnect Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization established to further the development and adoption of the MTConnect standard and is a subsidiary of AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is the avenue for input from industry via working groups and quarterly meetings. The Technical Steering Committee authors the MTConnect standard. The Institute’s activities are overseen by a Board of Trustees.  Membership in the MTConnect Institute is free.

About [MC]2 Conference

The [MC]2 Conference is a three-day conference designed for end users, equipment and device suppliers, software developers, distributors, integrators, students, and professors interested in the advancement of data-driven manufacturing. The conference, April 19-21, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, will be packed with timely insights, strategic views, and actionable items. For more information about the [MC]2 Conference, visit

About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. Founded in 1902 and based in Virginia, the association specializes in providing targeted business assistance, extensive global support, and business intelligence systems and analysis. AMT is the voice that communicates the importance of policies and programs that encourage research and innovation, and the development of educational initiatives to create tomorrow’s Smartforce. AMT owns and manages IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show, which is the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.

About Benét Labs

Benét Labs is a Department of the Army Center of Excellence supporting the management and execution of life cycle research, development, engineering, design, producibility, and engineering standardization programs for large caliber armaments, mortars and direct fire systems. A full complement of modern laboratory equipment, along with a highly trained staff of scientist, engineers, and technicians, enables Benét to be a world leader in innovative technology and applications.


NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. NCDMM also manages the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3DP printing (3DP), America Makes—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. For additional information, visit NCDMM at

About Office of the Secretary of Defense

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluation responsibilities. OSD includes the immediate offices of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Under Secretaries of Defense, Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, General Counsel, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Assistants to the Secretary of Defense, Director of Administration and Management, and such other staff offices as the Secretary establishes to assist in carrying out assigned responsibilities.

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