Timeline of Key Events 

Student Team Submission Deadline: October 22, 2012
Student Teams Notified of Decision: October 31, 2012
Challenge Awards Announced: November 5, 2012 at Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition

Project Period
January 2013: Student Teams Begin Projects
March 2013: Mid-term Review Meeting
May 2013: Final Team Presentations: 
June 2013: Fuel Cell Challenge Project Closes

Student Team Formation, Submission, and Review Process

Student Team Formation and Application

Interested students should form teams to:
  • Solve an accepted "Industry Challenge" as submitted by companies or
  • Launch their own Innovative Challenge to launch a hydrogen or fuel cell technology into a startup company
Before applying, student teams must secure a faculty advisor who will commit to overseeing their project for Spring 2013 semester.

Students teams will then apply and either:
  • Propose a solution to an Industry Challenge or
  • Pursue an Innovation Challenge
A student team may submit more than one application for each of the two possible challenge categories, but no team (or individual) can receive more than one award overall.

Student Submissions Reviewed and Team Notified

The Fuel Cell Collaborative Management Team and Review Panel will review student teams submissions. Teams will be reviewed against existing "Industry Challenges" or to see if they are a viable "Innovation Challenge."

The Fuel Cell Collaborative will notify Student Teams if they have been selected to fund their proposal. The Collaborative will fund up to:
  • 1 Innovation Challenge Team
  • 2 Industry Challenge Teams
Student teams will be contacted to meet with their faculty advisor, the Fuel Cell Collaborative Management Team and, for Industry Challenge recipients, their company representative for orientation prior to beginning their projects during the Spring 2013 semester. Company representatives can meet via phone or videoconference as appropriate.

Announcements, distribution of funds, and company/management oversight will be established once winning teams are selected.

Industry Challenge Submission and Review Process

Industry Submission Period Opens at WHEC 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

Firms apply to have their "Challenge" reviewed by the Fuel Cell Collaborative Management Team (FCCMT) and University of South Carolina (USC) faculty.

Industry Challenges can be submitted to address one or more of the following focus areas:
  • Research (discover new materials / define new processes)
  • Technical (optimizing existing materials / processes)
  • Business (commercialization strategy, business planning)
  • Business Support (supply chain, etc.)

Fuel Cell Challenge panel reviews industry "Challenge." 

The review panel will consists of the FCCMT and faculty members representing the discipline areas addressed in the industry responses. Participating faculty will represent the following skill sets, departments, or leadership positions:
  • University of South Carolina College of Engineering & Computing
  • University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences
  • The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina
  • Endowed Chairs from South Carolina's SmartState Initiative
Faculty reviewers will perform a simple 2-step review to determine answers to the following:
  • Can the problem be addressed satisfactorily using the University of South Carolina's expertise and assets?
  • Would the problem be seen as attractive to one or more faculty members or student teams?
Industry Members who have questions can:

  • Review the Frequently Asked Questions page
  • Contact us directly
  • Attend one of our webinars to answer any questions you have

Responses Sent to Industry Applicants

Industry applicants are notified if their "Challenge" has been accepted and "Challenges" are packaged for Student "Industry Challenges."