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"Show Us Your Angle"

Boeing Innovation Challenge (BIC)

Attention Tuskegee University Students -- You are invited to put your creativity to the test and form a team to be part of the 2019 Boeing Innovation Challenge (BIC)!!  You can compete and cooperate with students from other selected universities to propose ideas that will make the creation and operation of commercial jetliners better for the future. Get your two to three-member team’s idea onto a one-page summary form (attached). Submissions begin Sept. 10 and are due by noon (Pacific Standard Time) on Nov. 15.​ Your team’s ideas can help shape an Industry that drives the economies of the world and connects cultures. Diverse multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged.​

This year’s competition has three focus areas:

  1. Simplifying commercial airplanes.
  2. Creating adaptable and flexible airplane cabins.
  3. Bringing advances from other industries to commercial aviation.

First-round winners from all schools receive:

  1. Trip to Mukilteo, Wash., to participate in a three-day, hackathon-style event (travel, lodging and meals to be paid for by Boeing through the university.)
  2. Meetings with innovation leaders at Boeing to talk about your ideas and career aspirations.
  3. An opportunity to discuss and apply for upcoming Boeing internships.

Button: registration form

Button: BIC student agreement

Button: Idea entry form

For more information, please see:

The Boeing information challenge link here and look below.

Eligibility Requirements (for BIC registration)

To be eligible for the BIC, all students participating on a team, must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. person.
    • Note: Boeing is precluded from hosting citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  2. Be an active student at a participating school through the duration of the competition.
  3. Have at least sophomore standing.
  4. Cannot be a current direct Boeing employee or contractor working for The Boeing Company at any time during the competition.
  5. Be part of a two- to three-member idea-forming team, and willing to diversify their response if selected with additional team members.
  6. For first-round winners: Sign the “Boeing Innovation Competition Student Agreement”.

If your idea is selected for the second phase, you will also:

  1. Sign the Boeing Innovation Competition Student Agreement
  2. Participate in the virtual teaming event with other Universities to down select to the final 8-10 BIC ideas with full idea teams.
  3. Travel to the three-day event to further develop and present your final concepts.

Additional notes:

Travel will be arranged for participating teams through their university, with expenses for attendees paid by Boeing through university grants.

Contact Tuskegee University BIC Coordinator:

Associate Professor
Phone: 727-8862

Key Dates

Phase 1

  • Sept. 10, 2019 – Competition launch at specific universities
  • Nov. 1, 2019 – Student University Web BIC registration complete
  • Nov. 15, 2019 – Idea entries submitted (by 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time); teams can submit one or multiple ideas; each requires its own form
  • Nov. 27, 2019 – Top first-round winning entrants notified

Phase 2

  • Jan. 10, 2020 – Virtual teaming of all top entrants to self-select and combine ideas and teams down to 8-10 separate ideas of greatest student interest (8-10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time)

Phase 3

  • Jan. 20-22, 2020 – In-person event in Mukilteo, Wash. to fully define and present those ideas to Boeing innovation leaders.

Category Details

Topic 1: Simplifying Commercial Airplanes 

Innovations to dramatically simplify an aspect of design, manufacture or operation.

What we are seeking and key opportunity areas:

  • Significant design/build cost reductions over competitors, while improving useful functionality

Examples of relevant suggestions:

  • Innovative structures architectures, and/or material systems.
  • Improvements in safety, quality or build costs.
  • Simplification or reduction of design requirements.         
  • Multifunctional, more integrated architectures (e.g. combining two or more of structures, systems, passenger cabin, propulsion, flight sciences.)
  • Load reduction innovations to enable simple design.

NOTE: Examples are provided as a starting place to encourage additional thinking and are not intended to limited proposals.

Desired solution characteristics:

  • Product innovation – either new concepts or significant improvements to today’s concepts.
  • Business needs and value – improvements to aircraft value, production system efficiency or airline market competitiveness.
  • Certifiable by 2030.

What to include in each response:

  • Quantified estimated for weight, drag or operational cost (specific value or percentage improvement).
  • Estimated build cost impacts (specific dollar cost or percent reduction).

Topic 2: Creating Efficient, Adaptable and Flexible Airplane Cabins

Innovations that strengthen the capability of the future Boeing Cabin by meeting the current and future needs of airlines and passengers.

What we are seeking and key opportunity areas:         

  • Gate-to-Gate block times have been increasing, and many airlines are focusing on reducing the time an airplane is at an airport gate as a way of enabling schedule recovery and/or enabling more flying time.
    • This involves all aspects of getting people, baggage/cargo on and off the airplane more efficiently, and also includes reducing the time needed for servicing the airplane cabin, including: catering, cleaning, water and waste systems, and even fixing/checking something that is not working properly.
  • Airlines are gaining increased access to meaningful data, enabling more efficient and informed decisions related to cabin configuration (e.g. passenger revenue optimization) and operational efficiency. 
    • Today, airlines use sub-fleets to handle different mission requirements. As an alternative, enablers are needed for quickly modifying the cabin for different airline missions and passenger revenue optimization.
    • The future Boeing cabin must be easily changeable and adaptable to accommodate rapid reconfiguration during an airplane gate turn or overnight – from seat re-pitch to more dramatic changes such as adding or removing lavatory or galley capacity.

Examples of relevant suggestions:

  • Solving for passenger and personal baggage loading and unloading of the cabin for both single and dual aisle configurations.
  • Architecture and system solutions that enable faster servicing of the cabin during gate turns.
  • Architecture and system solutions that enable adaptable cabin configurations: e.g. adding/removing seats/lavatories/galleys.
  • Innovative seating concepts and seats appropriate for different passenger needs across different airline mission requirements
  • Innovative concepts for multi-use cabin spaces (e.g. think “tiny home” innovations).

NOTE: Examples are provided as a starting place to encourage additional thinking and are not intended to limit proposals.

Desired solution characteristics:

  • Achieves Product Innovation - improvement to or over existing concepts
  • Business Needs and Value - improvements to build rate and cost; Aircraft performance, Airline market competitiveness

What to include in each response:

  • Define area(s) of focus (capabilities) being addressed.
  • Define ideas new elements, and changes to current design and function.
  • Quantified idea benefits over current design features and cost (specific dollar cost or percent reduction).
  • Address any cultural or industry barriers to the new idea.

Topic 3:  Cross Industry Aircraft Innovation

Non-aerospace technologies with beneficial applications for airplanes, crews and passengers to enhance the total travel experience.

What we are seeking and key opportunity areas:

  • Cross industry “not invented here” innovation applies concepts from non-aviation fields into aviation applications to quickly enable significant value improvements ranging from reduced work load for crews, improved manufacturing efficiency, increased opportunities and an improved door-to-door passenger experience.

Examples of relevant suggestions:

  • Additive manufacturing.
  • WiFi communication.
  • Tablet computing.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Assembly line techniques.
  • Robotics.
  • Lighting.
  • Biofuel.
  • Hybrid propulsion,
  • Autonomy.
  • Blockchain build validation.
  • Machine learning.

NOTE: Examples are provided as a starting place to encourage additional thinking and are not intended to limited proposals.

Desired solution characteristics:

  • Achieves product innovation – improvement to, or over, existing concepts.
  • Business needs and value – improvements to build rate and cost, airplane performance, airline competitiveness, passenger preference.

What to include in each response:

  • Define existing area(s) of capability being proposed as a new solution
  • Define ideas and new integration elements needed to enable application
  • Quantified idea benefits over current methods and cost (specific dollar cost or percent reduction)

Boeing Innovation Competition Student Agreement

Click here for the agreement.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged based on:

  • Creativity.
  • Technical content, modeling, or analysis.
  • Relevance to Commercial Aircraft Challenge Topics
  • Lifecycle value, with increased flying travel preference.
  • Clarity/organization.
  • Potential for diversification.

Completed student entry forms must be submitted via your University BIC web submittal page to the University Coordinator noted on this invite. (or if not able, by email to ) by Nov. 15, 2019 (12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time).

BIC Winning ideas will be reviewed by Boeing for functional idea and possible Invention Disclosure development with participant coordination.

Intellectual Property Agreement

By entering this competition, Participants understand that in order to proceed to Round 2 of the competition, Boeing will require the participants to sign the “Boeing Innovation Competition Student Agreement”.

If selected to participate in the in-person event, information about projects developed may not be shared outside of The Boeing Company. Project titles and a team picture may be shared publically upon approval of The Boeing Company. If teams or students would like to pursue development of their projects beyond the end of the competition, students will have the opportunity to request a license from The Boeing Company to further explore their ideas. If there are any questions about intellectual property, please contact your school focal for guidance

Input Form Example

sample image of Boeing Challenge form

Useful Reference Guides

Boeing Innovation Challenge – Useful Ref. Material
(Also anything similar in your University Library – use for design drivers and known options)

Introduction to Aircraft Design
John P. Fielding
Cambridge University Press, 1999

Evolution of the Airliner
Ray Whitford
Crowood, 2007

AIRCRAFT DESIGN: A Conceptual Approach
Daniel P. Raymer, Ph.D.
AIAA Education Series, 1999

Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
Alexander Osterwalder , Yves Pigneur , et al.
Wiley, 2014

Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
Larry Keeley
Wiley, 2013

Contact Tuskegee University BIC Coordinator:

Associate Professor
Phone: 727-8862