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Innovation Week Illustration

Student Innovation Challenge

A celebration of ideas
In an expo-style event, students pitch their start-ups, innovative research and interdisciplinary projects.

The Student Innovation Challenge provides a fantastic opportunity for University of Sydney students and alumni to present their innovative solutions to real-world problems. This exhibition style event offers students the chance to win up to $10,000.

Last year's winners included the world's first anti-pollution mask, a robotic translator for people with deaf blindness, a biodegradable solution alternative to plastic mulch and vehicles that can investigate underwater structures.

The Student Innovation Challenge will take place on Wednesday 21 August. 

2019 categories and prizes

Startup Innovation Prize ($10,000)

  • For startups that have commercial potential.


  • MetaSense – proactive management of UV risk and skin cancer in the workplace


  • AgCrowd – a first mover investment platform focused on agriculture and energy
  • Solushin – created a patented medical device that is clinically validated to treat shin splints
  • Adaprox – a startup connecting their home appliance product to the internet
  • Zeta Aerial – an innovative drone solution for crop protection

Research Innovation Prize ($10,000)

  • For innovative research that has the potential to be translated into a practical application. 


  • Rocketry – conducting research into rocketry and cultivating academic interest in the aerospace sector


  • Corax – developed a new ophthalmoscope to assess your retina to detect and prevent illness
  • – a gamified platform fostering soft skills development, through company-endorsed virtual challenges and projects
  • Phylter – a device that filters out LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream in order to reduce heart attacks
  • SPARK – an application to aid patients in managing their Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and education

Interdisciplinary Innovation Prize ($5,000)

  • For interdisciplinary solutions to real-world problems. 


  • RiseHarvest – aims to enable underprivileged farmers use fertiliser more profitably and sustainably through a digital tool


  • Neural Network Hardware – harnessing AI to create the first neural network hardware device
  • Strawberry – innovative solutions to fast & effective STI detection
  • Medical Image AI – using AI to analyse curvilinear images to aid researchers understand the data with higher efficiency
  • Green Bean – reducing food waste via a smartphone app

Alumni Innovation Prize ($5,000)

  • For alumni who have successfully commercialised their research.
  • The Jist

Prize guidelines and judging criteria

Have a question about the application process or presenting?

2019 Showcase Judges




2019 Shortlisting Judges





2018 Student Innovation Challenge

The competition, run annually as part of Innovation Week, saw students pitch their start-ups, innovative research and inter-disciplinary projects in an expo-style showcase on Tuesday 31 July. There was a $30,000 prize pool for the best solutions to a real-world problem.