What is an ASURE Innovation Challenge?

An ASURE Innovation Challenge is a crowd sourcing framework that solicits innovative ideas from the academic network to solve challenges a sponsor seeks to overcome. The ‘ideation team’ consists of student-faculty teams that study the challenge problem, conduct research, and develop a course of action. When many teams participate, courses of actions multiply, providing the sponsor with a rich source of viable solutions that are ready to pursue commercially or rapidly prototype.

The ASURE team, using its extensive experience in industry, academic and government sectors, guides competitors through the design, prototype and acceleration phases of the Challenge.

Current Challenge

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Planned Challenges:

  • National Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge

  • Data border safety and security

  • International development

Why take part in an Innovation Challenge? 

The ASURE team has extensive experience in ASU’s world-renown research enterprise; the aerospace and defense industries, the science and technology sectors; and entrepreneurial ecosystems. This expertise converges to produce core abilities in:

Rapid Prototyping

Workforce Development

Business consulting to bridge the gap between discovery and the marketplace

Strategic Logistics

International Business

Expert program administration,
legal support and financial reporting

Cross-discipline team leadership

Systems design and development

How an ASURE Innovation Challenge works

Stakeholder engagement. | ASURE engages subject matter experts in a variety of fields to influence the selection of relevant topics and articulate Challenge statements.

Design thinking. | ASURE educates Challenge participants, generates ideas for each challenge and presents an investor briefing to a stakeholder panel.

Prototype expertise. | ASURE helps Challenge participants broaden their knowledge of design and test methods typically found in commercial enterprises so they can successfully develop their prototypes. 

Acceleration. | ASURE creates sustainable business models to maximize impact while rapidly deploying a prototype’s capability with an existing provider.

A key differentiator for the ASURE team is its extensive experience managing classified programs and enabling student participants to attain classified clearances.

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Who benefits from an ASURE Innovation Challenge?

Business, community and government partners | In today’s fast-paced world, many entities face challenges that require innovative solutions. ASURE’s Innovation Challenges enable companies, government entities and community partners to isolate a problem and access solutions that may have been outside their capabilities or budget. Through the Innovation Challenge model, they are able to rapidly prototype ideas into sustainable programs.

Student participants | Innovation Challenges empower a new generation of changemakers. Beyond academic benefits, students gain practical work experience that makes them a valuable asset to prospective employers. Challenge participants learn how to clearly identify a problem, define a solution through design and development, and demonstrate performance through rigorous testing. As a result, students learn teamwork, leadership and technical competence in a real-world setting.

Successful Innovation Challenges 

Investors and entrepreneurs | The Innovation Challenge consists of an ecosystem that offers exposure to innovative prototypes and scalable, viable solutions that are ready for seed capital or start-up development.

Faculty participants | Faculty often rely on grant funding for their academic projects. The Innovation Challenge opens the door to an alternative funding source. Additionally, many faculty members focus on basic research. Engaging with ASURE exposes them to applied research and its importance to the defense, technology and aerospace industries.