Make to Innovate is a project-based learning environment that students can use to learn new skills. These skills include engineering skills, but also “soft” skills such as leadership, teamwork, communications, and ethics. The success of Make to Innovate is in the projects that we do. To facilitate this, Make to Innovate has a Request For Projects (RFP) that parties may use to request a project. Requests are reviewed by the Make to Innovate administration team before each semester. Requesters may be from faculty, staff or students that are employed by or attending classes at Iowa State University. In addition, companies that have collaborated or has a working relationship with Make to Innovate may also request projects as well. Currently, these companies are Boeing and Rockwell Collins. If you would like your company added to this list, please contact Matthew Nelson.
The RFP for the 2020-2021 school year is now closed.
The RFP is now closed.
In this section, we have included some additional information and helpful hints to help you write a successful RFP. One of the key things that we will look for is what is the project’s goals and what they would like to do. Ideal projects that we are looking for should meet the following criteria:
- Specific problem statement and specific goals
- Measurable goals and easy to measure progress
- Achievable goals, tasks, and solutions to the problem(s)
- Realistic goals and tasks within the limitations of an academic setting
- Time-bound to the limitations of the ISU semesters
Your project must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound, in other words, it must be S.M.A.R.T. In addition, make sure you will tell us what your project’s overall mission is
There are three categories that a project can be categorized into; Competition, Research, and Service. Below are a description and expectation of each one.
Competition projects must include information about a specific competition that the project will plan to attend. The competition must be an active competition that has had 2 or more successful competitions and must be affiliated with a nationally recognized organization. Examples would be a competition project that is supported or run by AIAA, SAE, NASA, DOE, or the Mars Society as examples. Competitions that do not meet these requirements may still be submitted but may undergo further investigation before accepting the project. Because of the extra costs associated with competition teams, these projects will often be required to secure additional funding outside of Make to Innovate. Make to Innovate can help students in securing this funding.
Example: A team that is attending the NASA USLI Competition.
Research projects are projects that are conducting research in conjunction with a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors may also help sponsor the project, but it is not required. Research projects must submit additional information on what research they will be conducting. All research must have an experimental component. All research projects must submit what research topic(s) and question(s) will they will be addressing in their initial RFP. In addition, we expect that a research project will submit at least one paper to a conference.
Example: A team will work with a faculty member on different types of airfoils for long-duration flights. The team will design, build and test the airfoils and put the results in a paper to be submitted to an AIAA conference.
Service projects are projects that provide a service or conducts operations at set intervals. Service projects will submit an operational charter. This charter will outline what operations or services the project will perform and at what interval. A service project may also use one to two semesters to develop a platform that will carry out operations, but this must be indicated in the charter.
Example: A team will conduct aerial flights over a field inoculated with wheat rust. They have an aircraft that will use and will integrate a payload that is capable of taking near infrared photographs. They will develop an operational procedure plan and comply with all FAA and ISU rules when conducting these flights.
Please note, that in this example, the reason this is a service project is that the main goal of this project is to provide operational support for obtaining the images, not to do the analysis on the images.
Industrial projects are projects that are directly tied to an industry sponsor. Industrial projects have a representative from that company that is outlining what they would like to have the students work on. Industrial projects must have at least one member from that company that is a technical advisor.
Example: A team works with Boeing to develop a new type of spacecraft. The team will conduct research and build a prototype spacecraft. Boeing will outline what the major goals are for the project and two Boeing engineers will serve as technical advisors.
If you have any questions on the RFP, please feel free to contact Christine Nelson.