Program Implementation | Application Submission Procedure
Selection Criteria | Judging Criteria
iMatSci—Innovation in Materials Science provides a platform for technology leaders at universities, research labs and start-up companies to demonstrate the practical applications of innovative, materials-based technologies. The goal of this program is to convene innovators, industry leaders and investors in one location to spur collaboration that accelerates the adoption of new materials technologies for real-world applications.
iMatSci is designed to showcase technologies that have not yet been productized but where there is a working prototype or evidence of a repeatable process. The entities behind these innovations will generally be early stage and pre-revenue; however iMatSci will also consider showcasing innovative technologies that are emerging from an existing corporate entity.
Innovators were to submit an application, including a brief product pitch and URL for viewing a 1-2 minute video (optional, but recommended), through the iMatSci Application Submission Portal. Applications were reviewed based on the Selection Criteria below, and finalists were notified in mid-October. Selected innovators were required to pay an iMatSci registration fee of $165.00.
iMatSci was held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center. Each of the selected innovators will have space in The Hub, including one 6-ft table, two chairs and electric. These finalists presented their technologies using various forms of media such as videos and prototypes. Demonstrations were judged based on the Judging Criteria below.
In selecting innovators to demonstrate their technologies at the 2016 MRS Fall Meeting, the Review Committee reviewed the videos for evidence of:
- Demonstration: A physical demonstration is the best form of visual to show the prototype performance, data, etc. Be sure the video shows how the material or device performs in attributes of interest for the commercial product area of interest. The most effective demos avoid formal PowerPoints and traditional research posters, but effectively summarize scientific data.
- Stage of Development: Be honest about your assessment of where your innovation is in its development; i.e., is it still science, are lab results repeatable, has a prototype product been developed, or have samples been provided to an industry contact for evaluation? Indicate your goals and technical/commercial/financial path forward—include timing and what resources are available vs. needed. This is a great opportunity to form a partnership.
- Uniqueness: Without using technical jargon, describe how this innovation is unique or better than what is already available. Does it add a new feature or effect, or does it significantly lower the cost for an existing process or technology?
- Market Need: Show how this is of value and include who that person/organization is. No detailed market analysis is needed for this early stage. However, it should be readily evident to the Reviewer that this would be worthwhile to develop further. For example, the benefits are visible in the areas of medicine, energy, sustainability, etc.
- Strength of IP Protection: Where applicable, be sure to address IP ownership, patent status, licensing availability, etc. Be sure to include your ideas on how you plan to take this to market—are you looking for sponsored research money, joint development agreement, simple licensing, etc.—or if there are existing partners that have invested or have a stake in the IP.
Technologies must be mature enough to clearly demonstrate their value proposition to the layperson. Demonstrations will be judged on-site based on the following criteria:
- Clarity: Is the exhibit/demo easy to understand?
- Presentation: Do the individuals present the demo well? Do they understand the technology and its potential applications? Bring samples, pictures and/or video, and a one-page summary showing the innovation or technology.
- Value Proposition: Is there a clear value proposition for potential end-use? Is it easy to envision this technology being profitable?
- Impact: Does the technology have potential for a large impact? If successful, will the technology change lives, or is it simply something nice to have?
- Scalability: Can this technology easily scale to commercial volumes?
The content of submitted applications is the sole responsibility of the innovators. MRS is not responsible for any liability, financial or otherwise, associated with application content, innovation prototypes, or intellectual property rights. With regard to confidential or proprietary information, innovators are advised that MRS Meetings and iMatSci demonstrations are fully open and accessible to all interested registrants, including the media and general public.