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ISN launches $10,000 soldier design contest

MIT's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) is launching its first annual Soldier Design Competition, where teams compete for $10,000 in prizes by designing new devices, clothing or other technologies to aid the American soldier.

Potential entrants can find out how to get involved in the competition and network with other participants at a kickoff event on Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 10-250. Experts from the U.S. Army will be on hand to provide background information about soldier needs.

Open to all members of the MIT community, the competition is of particular interest to engineering undergraduates who are interested in tackling some of the challenges faced by soldiers on the modern battlefield. Each team of two to five people must include at least two MIT undergraduates. For more information, visit the ISN web site at

Design teams will present their ideas on Nov. 17, when a panel of judges will select projects to proceed to the final level of the competition. Each of those teams will receive $750 to build a prototype. In February, teams will demonstrate their prototypes and a panel will award first, second and third prizes totaling $10,000.

The Soldier Design Competit-ion is modeled after MIT's $50K Entrepreneurship Competition. Participants in the ISN competition are encouraged to enter their inventions in the $50K contest, which kicks off in February.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 10, 2003.

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