Media Release | NUWC 2021
The Australian Government is partnering with Forest and Wood Products Australia to support research and development into new forestry products through the 2021 National University Wood Challenge.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the 2021 National University Wood Challenge would provide prizes of up to $20,000 for university teams of students and academics to encourage them to further develop their ideas.
“The focus of the 2021 National University Wood Challenge is to harness the creative potential of University teams to create, design and develop innovative timber and wood fibre products,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“Inspiring innovation is a key part of our National Forest Industries Plan, which has the ambitious goal to deliver a billion new plantation trees over the next decade.
“These prizes help bring forestry to the forefront in our universities, and inspire new product development and the future minds of the forestry industry.
“There are a variety of opportunities to use Australian wood fibre to create sustainable, renewable and carbon positive products to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
“The prizes will support the teams to bring their innovative, novel or untested ideas for new products to life through the building of a prototype.
“Australia’s forestry industry is renewable and sustainable, and we want to support it as much as we can to enable it to grow.
“Forestry has a strong future, and the Australian Government aims to foster and enable productive, profitable, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian forest and forest products industries.”
Click here to view the Media Release on Assistant Minister Duniam's Website
Click here to visit the DAWE Website
Enquiries can be sent to Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Judging Process
What needs to be included in the application?
Each project application must include:
- A submission which uses the Key Selection Criteria to explain the project proposal. The submission must not be more than 1,000 words.
- A signed and dated application checklist.
- A signed and dated application form.
Is there a Key Selection Criteria?
Yes, there is a Key Selection Criteria. It is important that you use it as your application must include answers to the following Key Selection criteria listed in dot points below (please note there is no prescribed format for how you respond to the Key Selection Criteria):
- Project idea – What is your idea?
- What value does your idea bring?
- Why do you want or need to use Australian wood fibre?
- What use is your idea, what problem can it solve?
- If you’re successful in obtaining project funding, how will you use the funding?
- What benefit is your idea to Australia?
- Is there a potential path to commercialization? If so, what is it?
- Is your project likely to develop any Intellectual property for the University?
- Budget – how much money do you need to undertake this project, maximum $20,000?
How will my application be judged?
Your application will be judged using the 2021 National University Wood Challenge rubric using the four criterion which are described here (click to download).
Is there an application checklist?
Yes. Providing a completed signed and dated application checklist is a requirement of the application process. It must be completed and signed by the University academic or University representative. It can be downloaded here.
How are any conflict of interests managed?
A judge must disclose any potential conflict of interest when assessing applications to the other judges and to email@example.com. The conflict may include a current working relationship with an applicant, e.g. PhD research supervisor.
A judge who declares a potential conflict is excused from assessing that application as well as the group discussion of that applicant. Where this occurs the final combined score will be based on the average score of the remaining judges and weighted accordingly so that the applicant will not be disadvantaged.
Who owns any Intellectual Property created from the prize?
The Intellectual property created with this prize will vest with the University.
Where can I get Australian wood fibre from? We are most likely able to support your requirement for wood fibre. You’ll need to get in touch with us to work through the details prior to submitting your application.
Application Process and How to Apply
- Read through all of the information at www.fwpa.com.au/NUWC2021
- If you have any questions, please email Megan Graham on firstname.lastname@example.org
Email your application to email@example.com by July 25.
Each project application must include:
Who has funded this Challenge?
This project has been funded by the Australian Government, through the ‘National Forest Industries Plan’, and will contribute to achieving the objectives of ‘Using our forest resources smarter’ and ‘Growing community understanding of forestry’.
Other benefits of the prize
Within the Australian forest industry, there are high volumes of ‘lower value’ fibre that has the potential to be converted to high value products. By attracting researchers from different backgrounds, we aim to increase the diversity of ideas and ways to use this product that we hope will provide new ideas and outcomes for high value uses of this fibre.
Who will receive the funding?
Your University will receive the funding and it will be used to fund the project costs. Wages or labour costs cannot be paid using this grant funding.
If you’re a finalist you will be required to submit an invoice to the FWPA for the requested amount in July and enter into an agreement with FWPA, which outlines the Terms and Conditions of the funding.
What happens if my product test fails?
Product failure can be an important part of the learning process and outlining what happened in your video will help others learn more about what works and importantly what doesn’t.
The judges are highly skilled forestry and business executives who bring a diverse mix of experience within the fields of product development, marketing, innovation and wood products.
The 2021 National University Wood Challenge is looking to support teams of students and academics to come up with new ideas of how we can use wood in innovative ways.
The prize will provide support small teams to bring their innovative, novel or untested ideas for new products to life, through the; building of a prototype, creating or testing their ideas using Australian wood fibre.
The project applications will be assessed by a panel of judges who will award a number of University teams as finalists in the Challenge. The finalists will be awarded with;
- Up to $20,000 prize to create, build or test your idea and to create a 2 min video of your idea and journey as a finalist.
In Nov 2021, the efforts of the finalists will be judged and an overall winner will be awarded the 2021 National University Wood Challenge Award and $10 000 to continue to develop their product.
The prize is a ‘team’ award, and each team must be affiliated with an Australian University in Australia.
Each team must have at least one member of the University’s Academic staff and at least one; Post Doctoral scholar or student (PhD and Masters candidates are considered students).
Teams can have up to five people. Teams must be from the same University.
There is no limit to the number of submissions per University and academics and students can be part of more than one team.
Entries Open: 18 June
Entries Close: 25 July
Finalists announced: 10 August
Prototypes to be submitted to judging panel: 31 October
Winner announced: November 2021
About the National University Wood Challenge
The 2021 National University Wood Challenge is looking to support small University teams of students and academics to come up with innovative ideas for using wood to produce new sustainable everyday products. Everyday products could include; chemicals, textiles, plastic alternatives, coatings and pharmaceuticals.
The Challenge supports University teams who have innovative and creative ideas about how wood can be used differently to create products that the world needs. Funding will be provided to support building, testing or prototyping these ideas.
Click here to watch the video on our FWPA YouTube channel.
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