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Challenge <p> New Methods to Join Steel Hollow Sections</p>

New Methods to Join Steel Hollow Sections

Award:  $20,000 USD
STATUS: Under Eval
Active Solvers: 372
Posted: Nov 02 2017
Challenge ID: 9933986
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The Seeker to this Challenge is looking for a novel method of connecting hollow steel sections that can be used instead of welding and create structures of different shapes in steel construction.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data and/or prototype development and delivery. Purely theoretical solutions are also welcomed and these may qualify for awards up to $15,000 if they are judged to meet the Solution Requirements listed below.


Hollow steel sections (HSS) are used in the construction of various buildings and infra-structures (e.g. roofing frameworks, glazing support of airports, metro stations, structural frameworks of buildings). Hollow steel sections have also found use in oil & gas, mining and power projects. These steel tubes can have square, rectangular or circular cross-sections.

Although closed sections are preferred to open sections because of their superior structural performance, they present a major disadvantage in terms of connections. To use bolting systems, significant prework needs to be carried out on the hollow sections. Welding has, hence, been the predominant mode of connecting individual components. However, it does not offer an easy, simple and flexible way of assembly at the construction site.

The Seeker to this Challenge is therefore looking for an alternative solution to structurally join together HSS. The Seeker wishes to invite Solvers from all backgrounds to provide inputs to this problem and present refreshing and creative approaches that might have escaped industry professionals.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data (e.g. experimental work, videos, publications, etc) obtained by the Solver, as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge and/or prototype development and delivery if requested by the Seeker).  The Seeker is also interested in purely theoretical solutions but these qualify only for a partial award of up to $15,000.   

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.  

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 31, 2018.  Late submissions will not be considered.

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InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

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