Award Criteria

NRC Industrial Collaboration Award — Judges, Judging Criteria and Considerations

The judging panel will consist of two representatives from Canadian industries and one faculty member from a Canadian university. The judges are asked to select the exhibit that best meets the following criteria:

Criterion 1: Technical Excellence (20 points)

  • Success in operation of exhibit (did it work?)
  • Level of difficulty attempted; perseverance in overcoming problems during development
  • Exhibitor's grasp of the technical aspects of the project
  • Originality of design
  • Clear presentation of the importance of this project, i.e. why is this problem important?
  • Evidence that technical development has taken account of industrial manufacturing constraints.


  • Did it work?
  • Innovation adapting to: scale, equipment, etc.
  • Originality - Whose idea was it anyway?
  • Degree of technical difficulty attempted
  • Social significance of idea/concept/project
  • Degree of excellence in taking advantage of the features of component technologies and/or of integrating component functionality.
  • Does the design show an awareness of the costs of manufacturing and/or assembling components?
  • Does the design demonstrate understanding of trade-offs (cost, power, size) and worst case/best case design considerations.

Criterion 2: Application to Industry (20 points)

  • What value does this have to the industrial collaborator?
  • Probable application area within the company, e.g., switch, etc.?
  • Is the commercial application practical in terms of manufacturing and economics?
  • Nature of the interaction between the company and the researcher.
  • Extent of investment by the industrial collaborator.


  • Is this yet another solution to an insignificant problem?
  • How does this solution compare to others that already exist?
  • Does this present an incremental advantage or a more significant contribution?
  • Is there an awareness of the company's product lines in which this could fit/application areas which make this relevant?
  • How easy would it be to use this from a user's point of view (in contrast with the developer's)?
  • Did the interaction involve on-site work at the company?
  • Has anyone from the company participated on site at the university?
  • Did the interaction involve design reviews?
  • Has the company made a financial investment in the project?
  • Has the company made a time commitment to the project?

Criterion 3: Presentation Excellence (5 points)

  • Explanation of the background information or theory in a form understandable to one's peers
  • Fluency in explanation; interplay between those making the presentation
  • Humour, flare, originality
  • Smooth recovery from an unexpected problem
  • Clarity of explanation of key technical points


  • Did the presentation give you enthusiasm for the subject?
  • Are the problems and solutions clear?
  • Fluency, effective use of time
  • Peer support of effort
  • Professionalism
  • Handling of questions
  • Originality
  • Humour
  • Effective use of visual material during the presentation

Criterion 4: Visual Effectiveness (5 points)

  • Layout of backboard, originality
  • Quality of written information and effective use of pictures or diagrams
  • Relevance of information (not cluttered with extraneous material)


  • Professionalism
  • Interaction with audience
  • Legibility
  • Use of clear schematic diagrams (grabs them, holds attention)
  • Material that is useful and accessible, not too much at once
  • Adequate lighting


  1. Where projects have been undertaken by a team and over a period of time, the presenter must clearly present what the contribution is this time around and what the presenter's own contribution is.
  2. Criterion weightings differ from other Awards to reflect the increased importance of industrial collaboration and application in this award category.