2019 Nittany AI Challenge offers grant opportunities totaling $50,000

December 06, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students have the opportunity to create solutions to real-world problems and gain hands-on experience with artificial intelligence technology and AI experts during the 2019 Nittany AI Challenge. Participating teams can compete for grant awards totaling $50,000. Proposals are due Jan. 29, 2019.

During the 2018 challenge, a team of undergraduates used AI to develop LionPlanner — an application designed to provide paths for undergraduates to reach graduation. As one of the challenge finalists, the team was awarded $30,000 to further develop their solution. Two other finalist teams, Aspire and ProFound, were each awarded $10,000.

Daren Coudriet, director for the Nittany AI Alliance, said they are looking for participants who represent the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of Penn State students.

“We are proud to play a role in launching transformational ideas and excited to continue working with teams in 2019 as they leverage programs to create their solutions,” Coudriet said.

Teams are selected to advance through three stages of the Nittany AI Challenge based on advancement of their product through each phase, diverse and widespread student representation, product criteria requirements and demonstrated use of AI in their product to solve a problem, advance a solution and/or improve a current service.

Brad Zdenek, innovation strategist for the Nittany AI Alliance, said the challenge opens new opportunities to work with AI.

“We deeply believe in the broad, disruptive nature of AI and the need for faculty, staff and students across all disciplines to develop some form of AI literacy,” Zdenek said. “We are offering Immersion Day in February as an opportunity for Penn Staters to access training and workshops ranging from introductions to AI to deep dives into the technology with representatives from Oracle, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.”

2019 Nittany AI Challenge key dates:

  • Jan. 14: Nittany AI Challenge ideation and team formation workshop; “Competing in the Challenge” webinar
  • Jan. 29: participant idea submissions due
  • Feb. 20: Immersion Day open to all Penn State students, faculty and staff
  • April 3: participant prototypes due
  • Aug. 2: participant MVPs due
  • Sept. 10: participant MVP demo and pitch competitions   

To sign up to compete, visit the 2019 Nittany AI Challenge online.

Last Updated December 06, 2018