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Create technology to empower individuals living with various conditions and disabilities. 

Technology for Living is now accepting applications from individuals and teams for the Simon Cox Student Design Competition – a design challenge to enhance the quality of life for people with physical challenges. 

As participants of the 2024 Simon Cox Student Design Competition, teams will have access to several benefits; including access to Technology for Living PEERS, Biomedical Engineering Technologists and Innovation Strategist, to help validate their project. Along with the support of Technology for Living, teams will have the opportunity to win cash prizes totalling $7,500!

Student Prize Poster Art

Participant Criteria

The Simon Cox Design Competition is open to any student enrolled in a BC technical college or any undergraduate student enrolled in a BC University.

Teams of more than 4 will be accepted, but the size of their team will be factored into judging.

Competition Stage Round One

Video by April 12, 2024

All participating teams must provide the link to a video presentation by April 12, 2024, as well as any other information they feel is relevant to provide the TFL finalist selection committee with a thorough understanding of their project.  Students do not need to have completed their project by this date, but they need to send us information as to where they are as well as the improvements that will be made by the final presentation date.  Based on the information provided, along with the video link, the TFL finalist selection committee will select several teams to enter stage two of the competition.  These selected teams will each receive a $250 award for being a competition finalist and will present their final project in front of a judging panel, and other competition attendees, April 27, 2024 to compete in the final prize categories.

All teams, not only finalist teams, will be offered a space to showcase their project at the live event on April 27, 2024 and will be eligible for the PEER’s Choice Award.  Teams are required to let the Simon Cox Student Design Competition Committee know that they would like a free booth to display their project at the event.

Prize winners will be announced on April 27, 2024 at the live event and a YouTube video will be released on May 6, 2024.

Judging Criteria

Submitted projects MUST be related to Assistive Technology and have a goal of increasing independence for people with physical disabilities.

Accepted projects will be judged on the following criteria: 

  • Innovation (originality of design concept) 
  • Design Quality, including:
    > Mechanical Design
    > Electrical Design
    > Software Design 
  • Usefulness to person with physical disability
  • Presentation that showcases the projects usefulness, design quality, and innovation, clearly and concisely

Working with a PEER (person with physical disability) is not mandatory, but feedback from a PEER is essential to creating a device that is useful to a person with physical disability.  TFL PEERS are available to provide feedback at any point during your project.

If your project is a continuation of a project from a previous team/year, the previous version will be taken into consideration during judging.  If the previous version won a Simon Cox Design Competition award, the current version will be ineligible to win a prize.

Teams of more than 4 will be accepted, but the size of the team will be factored into judging.

Competition Stage Round Two
Final Presentations and Awards April 27, 2024, Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

Finalist teams (determined during Round One) will present their project to the judging panel, and other interested PEERs, on April 27, 2024.  Finalist teams will be given 15-20 minutes to present/demo their project.  Only judges will be able to ask follow up questions during the team presentations. All other attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the teams’ booths before or after their presentation.

Finalist teams that are not based in Metro Vancouver, will have the opportunity to completed their final presentation virtually, upon approval from the Simon Cox Student Design Competition Committee.

After watching the finalists presentations, the judging panel will select the award winners for the 2024 Simon Cox Student Design Competition.

*Finalist teams must host a project booth, with the exception of non-local teams, where they will have the ability to demonstrate their projects and answer any questions from judges, PEERs, and attendees.  Project booths will be available to all competition teams, not only finalists, and all teams are eligible to win the $1500 Peer’s Choice Award as voted on at a Pathways to Independence meeting.

To ensure there is space for attending teams to showcase their projects, teams are required to let the Simon Cox Student Design Competition Committee know they will be attending.


  • Simon Cox Principal Award (1st): $3,000 
  • Achievement Award (2nd): $2,000 
  • Innovation Award (3rd): $1,000 
  • Peers’ Choice Award (as voted on by persons with disabilties): $1,500

Final Presentation

In 2024 we will be showcasing the final results of the competition again at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre. Stay tuned for more information.

Important Dates 2023/2024

September 2023 / February 2024

Technology for Living peers and TIL team members will reach out to all student teams to offer support. The use of peers is highly encouraged in the design and development of the project and will be one factor taken into consideration by the judging panel.

February 13, 2024

Final day to submit the completed application form below is February 13, 2024.

Each team member is required to download and submit a ‘Simon Cox Student Design Competition Consent & Release’ form by February 13, 2024 via email. You must be a student of a BC academic institution.

April 12, 2024

A video submission presenting the project must be received by April 12, 2024.  The video must be 2-5 minutes in length and should keep in mind the competition criteria.  The video should include your projects technical information, how it benefits people with disabilities, how much you’ve worked with PEERs, what improvements will be made to the project by the final presentation date of April 27, 2024 and any other information you feel is relevant to the judges understanding of your project.

Please upload your video submission to YouTube and provide us with the link to your submission.  The purpose of this video submission is to assess projects and select which teams will move onto the final round of the competition.

April 16, 2024

Teams will be notified if they will be participating in Round Two.

April 27, 2024

This year’s event will take place at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre on 818-W 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9.

All teams are invited to make use of a table or an area to display and demonstrate their project entries.

May 4, 2024

At 10am the YouTube video of the event will be released.



All applicants need to download, fill out and submit the two forms applications below.

Students are encouraged to take photos or videos of their projects throughout the competition and forward them to the organizers with their final submission.

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Generously Supported By

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