with $130,000 in prizes for 2022, the DEBUT Challenge is open to undergraduate student teams working on innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and VentureWell have come together to support and expand the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) challenge, a competition that recognizes undergraduate excellence in biomedical design and innovation.

DEBUT challenges teams of students in undergraduate biomedical education to solve real-world problems in healthcare. Prizes of up to $20,000 will be awarded.

Strong DEBUT submissions will demonstrate a mastery of analytical and design skills and capabilities; the ability to manage the product development process; the ability to work effectively in teams; and technical communication skills.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Significance of the problem being addressed
  • Impact of proposed solution on potential users and clinical care
  • Innovative design
  • Working prototype

Additional prizes will be awarded to entries that also demonstrate:

  • Market potential and economic feasibility
  • Patentability

In addition, five honorable mentions will be awarded with cash prizes.

Due to academic disruptions from COVID-19, the rules have been modified to acknowledge teams that have excellent ideas for healthcare innovations but face challenges building and testing their prototypes.

Each team will receive an Ideation and a Prototype Score. The Ideation Score will be based on the significance, impact, and innovative design criteria weighed equally. The Prototype Score will be based on the significance, impact, innovative design criteria, and working prototype criteria, weighed equally. The team’s final score will be the higher of the two. Prizes will be selected based on the final scores.

For more information and before you begin, please read the guidelines.

The deadline for submission is May 31, 2022. Winners will be announced on August 26, 2022.

Winning teams will be honored at an award ceremony during the Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society in October 2022.

All applications must be submitted online and the application will open in early January.

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