Technology and innovation challenge is a competition aimed to development of technological solutions for industrial firms, or development of innovative products and services. In these competitions, public or private firms can find  the most suitable solutions for their technological problems.

Participants are mostly students and faculty members of universities and research institutes, independent researchers, and innovative SMEs (including knowledge-based companies) from Iran or other countries. There is no limit for participant in terms of nationality or education levels.

What do we mean by “innovative solution”?

In these competitions, like many global best practices, an innovative solution typically consists of a “conceptual design” or a “prototype”. Thus our challenges may be held in 1 phase or 2 consecutive phases. The first phase is “conceptual design” and the second one is development of a prototype.


The steps of an innovation challenge

Typically a challenge will be followed through these steps:

  • Designing an announcement
  • Publishing the announcement
  • Development of conceptual designs
  • Assessment of conceptual designs
  • Development of prototypes
  • Second phase assessment and choosing the final winner

چالش نوآوری

Benefits of an innovation challenge for industrial corporations:

Identifying best in class talents and ideas:

The corporations which limit their R&D to their inner capability deprive themselves from the vast amounts of ideas and talents from outside world. Innovation challenge enables corporations to absorb all of ideas, innovations and ingenuities of Iranian engineers.

High pace compared to classic approaches like recruitment:

recruiting innovative experts in R&D units in order to deliver a technical solution is a timely and costly approach most of times. Innovation challenge enables a prototype in relatively short period (6 months on average) which is much shorter than classic approaches.

Lower risk compared to classic R&D:

Sometimes R&D units in large corporations cannot reach their intended solution, although their costs are completely paid by the corporation. In contrast, in an innovation challenge, the prizes and more importantly, the cooperation process will not start until a conceptual design passes desired technical and economic criteria.

Very low costs compared to classic R&D:

R&D or “research and technology” specialized units in large industrial firms spend vast amounts of money on research and development or reverse engineering in order to deliver a solution for technical problems. The costs are so high that sometimes the final product is not viable in terms of competitive price. The minimal cost of an innovation challenge is not comparable to R&D costs.

Benefits of an innovation challenge for innovators and technologists:

Laboratory aids, grants and consulting:

Participants of iChallenge, depending on conditions, will receive grant, laboratory facility aids and consulting services in order to develop their solution. In this phase, iChallenge aims to provide financial arrangements for the winner with NSFund or VCs like Saman Sarmayeh, Simorgh and Sarava.


Prize is a significant benefit of an innovation challenge. Depending on complexity and importance of a problem, the prize ranges from tens of millions to hundreds of million tomans. For example the prize for the first challenge held by iChallenge was 2 million tomans for the first phase and 10 million tomans for final phase.

Reduction of commercialization and market access risks:

Many of technologists and researchers who are able to develop and deliver a technological solutions, are facing serious risks in order to commercialize their ideas. In an innovation challenge, large corporations announce their readiness for supporting the development and commercialization process. Winners have a great chance to see their ideas as products on the market.

Related notes

چرا برخی بنگاه‌ها با نوآوری باز غریبه‌اند؟

سوال اینجاست که چرا برخی بنگاه‌ها‏ به طور چشمگیری از رویکرد نوآوری باز استقبال کرده و از مزایای آن بهره‌مند شده‌اند‏، اما بسیاری دیگر از بنگاه‌ها هنوز با نوآوری باز غریبه‌اند؟

ادامه مطلب

جمع‏ سپاری یا نوآوری باز؟

ین روزها دو اصطلاح «نوآوری باز» و «جمع‏ سپاری» را زیاد می‌ شنویم. اما ارتباط این دو مفهوم چیست؟ آیا معنای یکسانی دارند؟ آیا متفاوت هستند؟ یا یکی زیر مجموعه‌ دیگریست؟

ادامه مطلب

نوآوری باز : درون سپاری یا برون سپاری؟

با افزایش تقاضا برای پروژه‌های نوآوری بازو توسعه فناوری‌های ارتباطی پلت‌فرم‌های تخصصی نوآوری مانند ناین‌سیگما و اینوسنتیو در خارج کشور و آی چلنج در داخل کشور شکل گرفته‌اند.

ادامه مطلب