Sponsored Challenges

The 2016 IPrize focuses on sustainability; each entry must address Economic Growth and one other United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. Challenges may be based on an original idea or from a list of sponsored challenges.


SDG 1 No Poverty


SDG 2 Zero Hunger


SDG3 Good Health and Well Being


Santisiand KnowYourFoods.org

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.  The New York Times and CBS 60 Minutes have recently highlighted challenges associated with consumer knowledge regarding olive oil.

On a global scale, the International Olive Council was established in 1959 under the auspices of the United Nations as the world’s only international intergovernmental organization in the field of olive oil and table olives. The Council serves as a world forum for discussing policymaking issues and tackling present and future challenges supplying clear, accurate information and statistics on domestic imports from the international olive oil market.

This challenge seeks to establish a forum (knowyourfoods.org) in the Lehigh Valley enabling government representatives and experts to meet regularly to discuss problems and concerns and to work in close partnership with the private sector.  The protype in this case will be the establishment of the virtual domain with an accompanying financial pro-forma for a speciality foods chemical analytics non-profit organization.


Preventative sports medicine has the ability to reduce the chance of life-altering sports injuries. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine initiated STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Protection) Sports Injuries to investigate what types of activities and materials should be developed for injury prevention. With the increase in advanced technologies such as imaging and additive manufacturing there is great potential for personal customization for sports medicine. For this challenge you will identify and develop a medical device that is customizable and helps to prevent sports injuries.


SDG 4 Quality Education


SDG 5 Gender Equality


SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

ecodye nameeco2dye

Textile dyeing operations use huge amounts of water and cause massive pollution worldwide. Textile industry has set aggressive targets for reducing water use by developing new technologies. eCO2Dye is a local company focused on developing new textile processes that do not use water; hence do not pollute rivers and oceans. eCO2Dye has developed production size polyester yarn dyeing equipment it is commercializing. Laboratory size dyeing equipment is required to support textile color matching capability which is imperative for this industry. The project challenge is to design and build lab equipment and follow up with full automation.


SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy


SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure


logo_gedpThe Karl Stirner Arts Trail Infrastructure Challenge


The Karl Stirner Arts Trail formerly the Bushkill Trail, in Easton has officially opened.   The trail is named for Easton sculptor Karl Stirner, who spent 25 years as a mentor and unofficial real estate agent, ushering aspiring artists to Easton. German-born Stirner started his art career at age 23. He was a professional drafter who served in World War II. He has held teaching positions at Tyler School of Art at Temple University and at Moore and Swarthmore colleges.

The 2.5 mile trail that winds along the Bushkill Creek connects the old Simon Silk Mill on 13th Street to Third Street at the base of the stone stairs leading up to Lafayette College.  The trail is paved and though not complete, will have signage and art installations along the walkway.

Two challenges hindering full utilization are lighting for the trail and a bridge connecting the Silk Mill to the trail.  Both of these features must be aesthetically appealing to cohere with the Arts Trail theme but will require significant design and engineering work.  This challenge must address a documented digital design, financial pro-forma, and milestone management plan for either the train lighting design, the bridge connecting the trail to the Silk Mill, or both.


SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities


SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities



The investigation, repair, and rehabilitation of building exteriors and facades, restoring architectural beauty, preserving and protecting historical character, extending property life, and enhancing property value is a critical part of sustainable cities and communities. In addition to physical conservation technologies, the creation of digital records of monuments and architectural structures of societal, cultural, and geopolitical importance is one approach to support this critical need.   In partnership with external agencies and organizations with the shared mission of Collect, Archive, Share, this challenge focuses on the creation of free, 3D online tools of important city and community heritage sites before they are lost to natural disaster, destroyed by human aggression, or ravaged by the passage of time.


SantaMonicaCity_hallCity of Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica is an international leader in sustainable city planning. As the first City in the world to publish a sustainable city plan in 1994, demonstrating innovation has become an expectation of the community. With the design of its new 50,000 square foot office building, the City is targeting to achieve Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification, which requires the building to be net-zero energy, net-zero water and contain no cancer causing materials. Attempting to achieve net-zero water in a region that received 3” of rain last year has led to the investigation of composting toilets, constructed wetlands and membrane bioreactors to manage human waste. Business models from the private sector are needed to help manage the buildings of the futures which will be seen as resource producers and not resource consumers. Compost and leachate from composting toilets are nutrient rich and have potential for commercial applications. Brackish groundwater is treated by reverse osmosis but results in highly concentrated brine as a by-product, which again has commercially viability. There are amazing packaged systems to treat and reuse greywater, rainwater and blackwater but regulatory officials in property investors are weary of operational exposure. For this challenge you must find a way to manage these systems, report testing to agencies and provide recommendations for commissioning, in order to engage practitioners, regulatory agencies, and entrepreneurs to align these ideas.


SantaMonicaCity_hallCity of Santa Monica

Millennials, like no generation before, embrace the mindset of choosing experiences over possessions, access over ownership, and adventure over security. They want to connect, share and live an exciting life. This is one of the major drivers behind the explosion of what is commonly referred to as the sharing economy. Made mainstream by the goliaths of the movement, Airbnb and Uber, it is clear a new economic paradigm is here to stay. However the next generation of the movement is poised to look a little different. The equity and environmental benefits once envisioned for these new companies are not being realized. The next frontier in sharing will be technology platforms organized as cooperative corporations. Businesses arranged so that the participants in a marketplace can benefit financially from its growth and success. How can young, niche sharing economy brands capitalize on this idea to truly revolutionize the way we transfer goods and services?


SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Zzyzx logo

Millions of pounds of K-Cups are disposed into landfills every year. The ability to recycle a Keurig K-Cup is limited, if not impossible, due to its composition. It was determined that more than 80 wt% of a K-Cup is moist coffee, with plastic, aluminum, and filter paper making up the rest. Zzyzx Polymers, a plastics manufacturing company located in Allentown, PA, has developed an innovative technology for recycling K-Cups back into a plastic resin.  However, Zzyzx has not been able to find end-markets for this material.  Your task is to develop an end product made from Zzyzx processed K-Cups.

Disclaimer: Samples of the material are available by request with a signed release form as dry pellets.



Innovations in the technology industry have allowed users access to higher quality and resolution viewing needs, for this challenge the enclosure for the HDMI adapter for HD/4K televisions will be developed. This innovation will allow users high speed connection for their media needs, whether it be for business or personal use. This project requires the development of a high end, aesthetically appealing, enclosure for an HDMI cable along with the strain-relief boot to attach to the wire cord. A prototype along with CAD drawings are necessary for project submission.  Physical specifications and constraints, along with competitor designs can be obtained by contacting ideal@lafayette.edu.


SDG 13 Climate Action


SDG 14 Life Below Water


North Shore/Hale’iwa Environmentally-Sustainable Product design challenge

This challenge addresses the need for the incorporation of sustainable materials in a product that utilizes advancements in green chemistry and/or renewable materials to address a consumer market of coastal culture and watermen. Ultimately, the product should pass science-based benchmarks for sustainability and provide consumer safety and awareness of the environmental impact related to oceans and public waterways.


SDG 15 Life on Land


MCL Garden Design

The Lafayette campus has a collection of trees on campus that contain many rare and unusual trees. These trees are not labelled, therefore the Lafayette Community and visitors of the campus cannot be made aware of the origins and proper names of the trees. To keep in line with the campuses push towards sustainability your task is to design and develop tree labels that are made from materials that are sustainably sourced.


SDG 16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions


SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals



The IDEAL Center promotes Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership.  A core mission of the IDEAL Center is to inspire the Lafayette Community to explore collaborative opportunities connecting liberal arts and engineering.  The IDEAL Center serves a platform to engage external partnerships and facilitate experiential learning to solve problems that create value, promote global prosperity, and contribute to lives of meaning.   Your task is to design and implement a strategy of broad co-curricular programs to engage faculty, staff, and students.  In order to achieve these goals  one may contemplate a platform that includes but is not limited to social media networking, video and web-based communications, and opportunities for individual investment.