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Student Innovation Award

Education » Awards » Student Innovation Award

Innovation Award Winner 2020

About the Award

The Student Innovation Award recognizes innovation in Information Systems, Enterprise Computing, Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related concentration. Applicable to students and recent graduates enrolled in one of the aforementioned programs or a related concentration, this award affords the winner an opportunity to immerse themselves in four days of IT education on some of the latest topics presented by authorities in the industry. In addition, the winner receives recognition and exposure to a huge community of IT professionals and vendors that can beneficially affect his/her career path.

2019 Winner

Congratulations to Calvin Buckley on winning the 2019 Student Innovation Award. Thanks to Calvin’s hard work and innovation, the IBM i platform can now run the open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. It enables both a new class of developers and a new set of solutions. This will surely bring value to the IBM i community for years to come!


Students should submit an academic-related information system project that they consider to be innovative. Projects may include something exciting that could be used to improve a process of a business.

Submissions must include:

  • Title
  • Completed questionnaire
  • Short video or screenshots describing/demonstrating the project (video preferred*)
  • Proof of student status or graduation within the last 12 months from an accredited institution
  • Supplementary materials

* If you need assistance, reach out to Ian Cartwright for access to screen capture software to create a video.

The submissions are no longer being accepted for 2020.

Award Levels and Prizes

COMMON will offer two prize levels – Grand Prize and Runner-up. The Grand Prize winner will be given an all-expense paid trip to COMMON’s POWERUp 2020 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, April 20-23, 2020. If the Grand Prize winner is not available to attend, the 1st Runner-up will have the opportunity to attend.

Grand Prize

  • $350 gift certificate to Amazon
  • 1 expense paid trip to COMMON’s POWERUp 2020 conference (Includes conference registration, airfare, lodging and meals; winner to present project on video to be published on the COMMON website and accept award at Opening Session.)
  • Submission featured on for a minimum of six months
  • Article in COMMON.CONNECT magazine profiling winner and project


  • $150 gift certificate to
  • Video of submission featured on for a minimum of six months
  • COMMON Membership for a duration of one year

Entries will be awarded on submission fulfillment, award criteria, and requirements. Upon successful receipt of the submission form and supporting documents, applicants will receive a confirmation email. Entries will be reviewed by the COMMON Innovation Award Committee.

Rules, Regulations and Eligibility

  • Must be at least 18 years of age by the submission deadline
  • Must have less than two years of professional IT experience
  • Must be a current student or recent graduate (within the last 12 months) from an accredited institution
  • Only one submission per student will be accepted
  • Multiple individuals may contribute to a single project submission (Their participation should be noted in the submission. However, only the person submitting the entry will be eligible for prizes if the submission is selected.)

If you have any questions, please contact Manzoor Siddiqui or by phone at 312-279-0253.