FAQ and Guidance Notes
COINS Grand Challenge 2020
The COINS Grand Challenge is first and foremost a competition to find new ideas or innovative approaches that will solve problems and enable the construction industry to make a positive impact on society. Given the broad range of allowable topics, these Guidance Notes and the examples and definitions included herein are only there to help people complete the online Application Form. They are not intended to place any limit or constraint on the creativity of the Applicants’ thought processes and ideas.
The online Application Form provides additional specific guidance on how to complete your application with notes and guidance for each question.
1. What is the COINS Grand Challenge?
The COINS Grand Challenge consists of two competitions (Open and Undergraduate) that are aimed at encouraging students, innovators and entrepreneurs to come forward with new ideas and approaches to help improve the construction industry for the benefit of the industry and society. The competitions focus on areas that address global challenges facing the construction industry.
Working with leading construction companies, private investors, venture capitalists and academia, the COINS Grand Challenge provides an opportunity that may not otherwise exist for people to present their ideas to leaders in the industry, win valuable prizes and potentially gain funding and support to pursue their ideas.
For the Open Competition, ideas do not have to be at a particular stage of development to be submitted. Judging criteria are based on the calibre of the Applicant, the “grandness” of the idea and the feasibility of it being implemented.For the Undergraduate Competition, we are looking for people who understand the underlying subject matter and its relevance to one or more areas of the construction industry and who show the interest and potential to become the next generation of construction industry innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.Whether you are an undergraduate,post grad student, recent graduate, young entrepreneur or industry specialist,we want to hear from you if you believe your idea has the potential to help the construction industry and society.
2. How do I enter the COINS Grand Challenge?
Potential applicants are encouraged to register their interest in the competition as soon as possible using the signup form at the bottom of each page on this website. This will sign you up to receive updates about the competition, including key dates and reminders.
To enter the competition, Applicants must complete the official online Application Form and clearly select the relevant competition (Undergraduate or Open) to which the application relates.
For the Undergraduate Competition, the entry consists of either an 800-word essay or a 3-10 minute video entered using the online Application Form. The entry should follow the challenge brief and other information provided on the Undergraduate Competition page on this website.
For the Open Competition, the applicant answers a series of questions that explore the applicant’s idea in depth, submitted using the online Application Form. The entry should follow the challenge brief and other information provided on the Open Competition page on this website.
Team applications are allowed for both the Open and Undergraduate competition. However, only one member of the team may present the idea at the Grand Final if the application is successful, so it is advisable to enter the application under the name of the team leader/presenter.
Any intellectual property included in submissions belongs to the respective applicants, although no Non-Disclosure Agreements will be entered into.
3. What is the timeline for applications?
19 NOV 2019
Competition open for Entries
6 JUL 2020
Entries Submitted by
3 AUG 2020
Finalists Notified by
TBC SEP 2020
The COINS Grand Challenge 2020 opens for entry on 11 November 2019 and closes on 6 July 2020 (new extended deadline). Finalists will be notified by3 August 2020 via email. Final judging will take place online in September, exact date to be determined.
All information regarding how to enter the COINS Grand Challenge is contained on this web site.
Applicants are encouraged to register their interest in the Competition as early as possible, in order to receive reminders and notifications about the Competition. However, Competition applications are notified separately.
Applications can be submitted at any time up until the closure date with or without prior registration of interest.
Once you submit your Application Form, the application will be frozen for passing to the Judges. Therefore, please ensure that you have worked the idea up fully before you make the final decision to submit.
Following a review of the entries, a group of up to 12 Finalists will be selected to take part in the Grand Challenge Final Judging.
All applications are assessed by the same application evaluation criteria, as detailed later in these Guidance Notes.
4. Who will judge the applications?
The COINS Grand Challenge process is a competitive application process. Applications shortlisted for the Final Judging are reviewed by a broad range of construction industry experts from within the industry and associated academic and government institutions. Information about the judges is published on this website as it becomes available.
Judges are appointed by the COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee.
Judges are required to carry out an assessment of the proposals themselves but may consult with other experts to pass an opinion in areas that may require specialist expertise. All Judges are briefed by COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee to undertake assessments in accordance with the criteria contained within the guidance.
5. How are the applications evaluated?
A standard assessment process applies to all applications as follows:
All qualifying, correctly submitted entry applications will be reviewed by the COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee, who will shortlist the Finalists. Based on the highest ranking applications, the Finalists are chosen and invited to present their ideas in the Grand Challenge Final Judging.
Each Finalist application is assessed by all judges during live judging against the criteria for the respective competition. (See Question 7 below.)
All applications will be assessed on individual merit in accordance with the normal COINS Grand Challenge process.
The decision of the Judges and COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee will be final. Although Applicants can request feedback, the COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee reserves the right to refuse feedback requests due to the anticipated volume of applications.
6. How will finalists be notified of the Grand Final?
The shortlisted Finalists will be notified of the success of their application by email and will be invited to compete in the Grand Final Judging.
As part of the invitation to attend the Grand Final, all Finalists will be emailed details of how the judging will be conducted and any next steps. Applicants must therefore provide accurate email, phone and address details on their entry, and should check their emails on a regular basis. Finalists will be selected and notified by 3 August 2020.
The Grand Challenge final judging will take place online and is planned for September 2020 (date to be confirmed). If, after initially accepting a Finalist invitation, you find that you are unable to attend the Grand Challenge Final Judging, you must notify the Competition Manager via the Contact form on this website or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finalists for the Open Competition will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation to communicate their idea to the judging panel. The presentation will be followed by 5 to 10 minutes of Q&A and advice/mentoring from the Judges. Judging will be held via an online meeting, so Finalists will be able to use a webcam and share their screen during their presentation to the Judges. Finalists using a PowerPoint presentation will be asked to submit a copy in advance.
Finalists for the Undergraduate Competition will meet the judges in less formal individual meetings, where they should be prepared to discuss their ideas and their overall education plans.
All individuals invited to be a Finalist will be worthy winners of the Competition, so this presentation will be their final opportunity to stand out from the crowd and persuade the Judges of the specific merits of that particular idea.
COINS will conduct and record short video interviews of each Finalst prior to their presentation to the judges. Due to COVID-19, these will likely be recorded during an online interview. An edited version of this interview will be used when announcing the Winners of each Competition. The questions for this interview will be circulated in advance of the interview.
The COINS Grand Challenge management will publicize the results of its competitions, which includes public relations activity and social media.
We understand that some individuals may want their ideas to remain confidential, so Finalists will be given the option to opt out of most publicity surrounding their idea. However, if you are a Finalist, the fact that you entered the Grand Challenge and a general description of the entry will be publicised, and you are not able to opt out of this entry requirement.
Furthermore, you will need the express permission of the COINS Grand Challenge Management Committee if you wish to enter into any publicity yourself that directly connects you to the COINS Grand Challenge.
7. What criteria will be used for the final judging?
The quality of your application will determine your entry into the Grand Final
Once selected as a Finalist, your application is one part of the assessment of the judging panel. Once at the Grand Final, Finalists will be judged on the following criteria. All Applicants are advised to read this Guidance Notes page along with the detailed Terms and Conditions in order to give themselves the best chance of success.
The IDEA counts for 80% of the total score for Grand Final presentations. The Judging Panel wants to understand its:
- Potential commercial impact (25%) – Financial impact of the use of the technology.
- Social impact (20%) – Ability to impact millions of people.
- Technology (10%) – Novel use of technology to solve a problem
- Viability of the idea (25%) – How feasible is it to implement the technology.
The APPLICANT counts for the remaining 20% of the total score. The Judging Panel wants to understand your:
- How your background equips you to implement your idea.
- How real is your commitment to making your idea a reality.
- Your focus and determination to succeed.
8. Will my data be protected?
The information that you provide in your entry application will be used in the processing of all aspects of the application. This will include recording on COINS Grand Challenge databases in the preparation of communications with you and for use by the judging panel.
In addition, information may be used to help COINS Grand Challenge management carry out its own internal performance reviews and improve its business processes.
The COINS Grand Challenge is covered by the COINS corporate Privacy Notice
. Any queries on issues relating to data protection should be addressed to:
Construction Industry Solutions
11 St Laurence Way
Email address: email@example.com