Glass fiber supplier issues applications challenge

$250,000 in awards are offered for composites applications developed for infrastructure, fuel efficiency, renewable energy and armor.

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Owens Corning (Toledo, Ohio) announced at the 2010 JEC Composites Show that it has launched a global competition to encourage new applications for composite materials. The Composite App Challenge is focused on encouraging entrants in four categories to help solve some of society’s pressing issues: infrastructure durability, fuel efficiency, renewable energy and blast/ballistic protection.

The company is offering $250,000 (USD) in awards, which includes a $200,000 commercial development award for a composite application that can be introduced by the end of 2012 and $50,000 split between four composites application ideas. Of this $50,000, one $20,000 award could go to any submission, but three $10,000 awards are reserved for students.

The competition will have four phases. In the first phase, aspiring participants will submit their applications or ideas through the competition Web site (www.occompositeappchallenge.com). Entries must be received by July 15, 2010. During the second phase, as many as 20 entrants will be invited in August to provide additional information for a second round of reviews. Judges will look at the idea’s content, its potential market opportunity, the time needed to commercialize the application, the business case, the application’s technical feasibility and the contestant’s ability to commercialize it. In phase three, eight finalists will make presentations. During the final phase, judges will make the final award decisions based on the likelihood of scalability and long-term success.

Winners will be announced in February 2011 at the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA) Composites Show in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. CT will monitor progress and report on the results.