Type of Funding





The 2019-2020 Conrad Challenge calls upon students aged 13 to 18 from across the globe to use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), innovation and entrepreneurship to create products and/or services that address some of the most pressing global challenges. Participants work together in teams of 2 to 5 students to develop solutions in 1 of traditional 4 categories, as well as in 3 Special Categories:

Traditional Categories:

  • Aerospace & Aviation
  • Cyber-Technology & Security
  • Energy & Environment
  • Health & Nutrition and

Special Categories:

  • Transforming Education Through Technology
  • Smoke-Free World: Eliminating & Reducing Teen Vaping, and
  • Smoke-Free World: Re-purposed Farmlands & Tobacco Crops.

The Challenge will progress online through 2 Rounds before the top 5 teams in each category will be chosen as Conrad Finalists and invited to compete at the Conrad Innovation Summit, which is a 4-day Summit from 21 to 24 April 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, USA.


Finalist teams are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

All teams who enter the Conrad Challenge are competing to be recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars, the Challenge’s top honor. One team in each category will receive this recognition based on their scores during the final round at the Conrad Innovation Summit. In addition to the title, student teams will receive the following prizes:

  • A distinctive medallion and a Pete Conrad Scholar certificate from the Conrad Foundation
  • US$15,000 per year scholarship to Clarkson University, for a total value of US$60,000 over 4 years (This prize is offered to all Conrad Finalists.)
  • US$15,000 per year scholarship to enroll in the Jefferson University School of Design and Engineering
  • US$22,000 per year merit-based scholarship to Lewis & Clark College, for a total value of US$88,000 over 4 years
  • One Pete Conrad Scholar Team will be selected to receive pro-bono services from Arent Fox to support the patent process, valued at USA$20,000
  • One Pete Conrad Scholar Team will be selected to receive pro-bono services from Dentons to support the patent process, valued at US$5,000
  • One Pete Conrad Scholar will be selected to attend their upcoming NEXUS summit in New York July 2020,
    (full accommodations and US$500 airfare credit provided)
  • A market research assessment from the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) providing a detailed plan to continue product development, valued at US$1,000
  • Sigma Xi will induct Pete Conrad Scholars into the community, with the first year of dues and initiation fees waived.

Smoke-Free World Category:
In addition, the Pete Conrad Scholar Teams named in these 2 special categories will receive the following prizes provided by The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World:

  • Re-purposed Farmlands & Tobacco Crops: This team will will receive an all-expense paid trip to Des Moines, Iowa to attend the World Food Prize/Borlaug Dialogue. In addition to attending the World Food Prize events and hearing from world-leading experts, the winners will have the opportunity to enjoy the history of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
  • Eliminating & Reducing Teen Vaping: This team will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to meet with the FSFW grantees at Etheim Biotics. In addition to visiting the lab and learning about the microbiome from world-leading experts, the winners will have the opportunity to enjoy the history and sights of the nation’s capital.

Transforming Education Through Technology Category:
The Pete Conrad Scholar Team under this category will receive the following provided by SMART Technologies:

  • An all-expense paid trip, for the full team and their coach, to ISTE 2020 in Anaheim, California (this trip will take place in June 2020);
  • An all-expense paid trip for the full team and their coach to visit Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts including a personalized tour and coaching sessions (this trip will take place in May 2020) (Pending team availability);
  • A SMART Board Interactive Flat Panel for their school(s); and
  • A continued mentorship from SMART Technologies to support in further development of their product and/or service.

Power Pitch Awards:
The Conrad Foundation will recognize 1 Finalist team in each category with the Power Pitch Award. This award recognizes the best on-stage presentation during the Conrad Innovation Summit. Recipients will receive a special commemorative trophy.


The Conrad Challenge entrants must be students aged between 13 and 18, who have to form teams of 2 to 5 members to submit their Investor Pitch. Each team must have a coach, 18 years or older, to serve as adult supervisor. A registration fee of US$250 per team is payable. Teams can only submit 1 project in only 1 of the 4 main categories. They may submit another project under the Special Categories.

The team’s idea must be developed as a group. The idea may include elements and components created by others, as long as the proper credit is given.

The Business Plans will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Technical Innovation – How new or unique is the idea?
  • Technical Practicality – Will this product work technically?
  • Marketability – Does the team demonstrate understanding of the key markets for their product?
  • Costs – Does the team demonstrate understanding of the product development costs?
  • Funding Mechanisms – Does the team understand the basics of how its innovation could be funded?
  • Team Creativity & Professionalism – Did the team successfully present their concept to potential investors?


Registration is to be done online by 1 November 2019.

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