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The 3M Inspire Challenge

Overview

Fighting the climate crisis. Keeping up with a world fundamentally transformed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing persisting social inequity. These are some of the most pressing challenges the world is facing.  

Do you have ideas that will value-add to 3M’s business while solving these challenges? If you have what it takes, we invite you to join 3M’s undergraduate case challenge, the 3M Inspire Challenge 2022.  

The 3M Inspire Challenge 2022 is your chance to showcase your cutting-edge ideas and burning passion in the region. It is open to all undergraduates, regardless of study and background, across 10 countries in Asia-Pacific.

We invite you to propose your best ideas for one the following themes: (1) Sustainable Materials, (2) The New Paradigm (A Pandemic Aware World), and (3) Equity (Through Science and Technology).   

Our mission is simple. We want to unlock the power of people, ideas, and science to reimagine what’s possible, all while empowering young leaders, thinkers, and creators to demonstrate their bold ideas and business acumen to reshape the industry. 

Be among the best in problem-solving, innovation, and creativity. Learn from experienced and helpful 3M mentors, who are experts across their respective fields. They will be providing useful insights, helping you bring your ideas to the next level.  

Come reimagine a better world and make your mark in the region. Register for the 3M Inspire Challenge 2022 now.

Message from Jim Falteisek

  • Image of Jim Falteisek

    Dear Students, 

    Our world is facing ongoing challenges every day, from the lasting impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, to the ever-growing urgency of the climate crisis and persistent social inequity. Businesses have an important role to play in addressing these challenges, and we need to act now.  

    At 3M, innovation and science is our key to addressing these pressing issues. Unlocking the power of people, ideas, and science is how we’re doing that.  

    Cultivating the next generation of diverse talent is another critical piece to the puzzle. We have thus launched the second edition of our popular undergraduate-level case challenge.  

    This year, we have raised the stakes. We have expanded the challenge to 10 countries in Asia-Pacific, up from six in 2021. The countries included in 2022 are: Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

    We have also updated the themes to address some of the most pressing topics of today and tomorrow: (1) Sustainable Materials, (2) The New Paradigm (A Pandemic Aware World), and (3) Equity (Through Science and Technology).   

    Will you take up the challenge? I invite all of you to join us in the 3M Inspire Challenge 2022 and bring your most innovative ideas to the table.  

    Best regards, 
    Jim Falteisek  
    Senior Vice President, 3M Asia Corporate Affairs and Managing Director, 3M Korea 


About the 3M Inspire Challenge 2022

From July 15 to November 15, 2022, 3M Inspire Challenge 2022 is on the hunt for the most innovative ideas to create a more positive world and add value to 3M’s business and customers.  

Participants can choose to propose solutions for one of the three themes: (1) Sustainable Materials, (2) The New Paradigm (a pandemic aware world), and (3) Equity (through science and technology).   

The challenge welcomes entries from students regardless of courses of study in Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The 3M Inspire Challenge will take place across two stages. The first stage, known as the Country-Level Semi-Finals, will see students face-off against their local peers in a live judging panel on October 26-27, 2022. The winners of this stage will be crowned the title of “Country Champion”, awarded a cash prize of USD$2,000, and internships at local 3M offices. 

The Country Champion will then proceed to the second stage, known as the Regional-Level Finals, to compete against all the Country Champions. The winning team will be crowned “Regional Champions” and walk away with a USD$5,000 cash prize. 
 
Throughout the challenge, participants will also enjoy access to 3M mentors from diverse backgrounds who will sharpen their ideas in preparation for the Country-Level Semi-Finals and Regional-Level Finals. 


About the themes

  • Image of 3M Inspire Challenge Sustainable Materials Badge
    Sustainable Materials
  • Image of 3M Inspire Challenge The New Paradigm badge. A Pandemic Aware World
    The New Paradigm (A Pandemic Aware World) 
  • Image of 3M Inspire Challenge Equity badge. Through Science and Technology
    Equity (Through Science and Technology)   

Key dates

Date Activity
15 July 2022  • Launch of challenge: registration and submissions open for 3M Inspire Challenge 2022
26 August 2022 • Registrations and submissions close at 2359 hours (local time) 
By 23 September 2022  • Shortlisted teams notified to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals
26 September-14 October 2022  • 3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams (with in-country representatives)
26-27 October 2022  • Round 1 Country-Level Semi-Finals Presentation Challenge
• Country Champion announcement
27 October-11 November 2022  • 3M Mentor sessions with Country Champions in preparation for Regional-Level Finals
15 November 2022  • Round 2 Regional-Level Finals Presentation Challenge
• Regional Champion and runners-up announcement 

Prizes

The Country Champions and Regional Champion stand to win up to US$2,000 and US$5,000 cash prizes respectively, and score internship opportunities at 3M. 


Register now! 

Important reminders:

  • • Registrations and submissions close on 26 August 2022, 2359 (Local time).
  • • All teams must comprise 2 - 4 individuals and must be gender diverse, i.e. consisting of members of different genders.
  • • For submission of entries, please download the template here and refer to the instructions in the template.
  • • Terms and conditions apply.
  • All fields are required unless indicated optional




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FAQs

1. What is a case competition?

A case competition challenges participants to examine real-life business problems and present solutions and ideas. All teams will be given the same case based on their selected theme. 

Participating teams’ solutions should answer the case. If selected, they will present their solutions to a live panel of judges, who will judge the solutions based on aspects such as originality, creativity, replicability, etc.

2. Who is eligible to participate in this challenge?

  • The challenge is eligible to all undergraduate students from all courses of study in Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • All teams must comprise 2 - 4 individuals and must be gender diverse, i.e. consisting of members of different genders.
  • All participants must agree to a list of terms and conditions and sign a release form at the point of submission.

3. Why should I participate in the 3M Inspire Challenge?

Participants can gain a multitude of benefits from joining the 3M Inspire Challenge, including:

  • Experience: This challenge provides a hands-on, realistic simulation of today's problems. Your team will be given opportunities to analyze and make strategic recommendations on real-life strategic issues just like a real business professional. This challenge will serve as an avenue for ambitious youths to showcase their brilliant ideas.
  • Application of Skills: Get the opportunity to apply the skills you have learned in the classroom to real-world experiences.
  • Networking: There are many opportunities to meet and interact with various representatives from 3M.
  • Confidence and Resume Booster: Winning a case competition increases your confidence in your own skills, which can help you present yourself better in an interview. You will also be able to present the case competition as an impressive experience on your resume and as a talking point in interviews.
  • Prizes: The Country Champions and Regional Champion stand to win up to US$2,000 and US$5,000 cash prizes respectively, and score internship opportunities at 3M.

4. How do I register for this challenge?

You and your team can register through this website. Early registrations are highly recommended! 

5. What is the submission requirement?

A submission template is provided. Potential participants can download the template from this link, which will have more details and guidance. 

6. Are submissions in non-English allowed?

Submissions must be submitted in English. However, no points will be deducted for English language errors, as long as the explanation is understandable. 

7. Are presentations needed? When?

No presentation is required for the first wave of submissions. Presentations are only required if you’re shortlisted for the Country-Level Semi-Finals, and if you move on to the Regional-Level Finals.

8. What is the timeline of the challenge?

Date

Activity

15 July 2022 •Launch of challenge: registration and submissions open for 3M Inspire Challenge 2022 
26 August 2022  •Registrations and submissions close at 2359 hours (local time) 
By 23 September 2022 •Shortlisted teams notified to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals 
26 September-14 October 2022 •3M Mentor sessions with the shortlisted teams (with in-country representatives) 
26-27 October 2022 •Round 1 Country-Level Semi-Finals Presentation Challenge  
•Country Champion announcement 
27 October-11 November 2022 •3M Mentor sessions with Country Champions in preparation for Regional-Level Finals 
15 November 2022 •Round 2 Regional-Level Finals Presentation Challenge 
•Regional Champion and runners-up announcement 

9. Where will the Country-Level Semi-Finals and Regional-Level Finals take place? 

The Country-Level Semi-Finals and Regional-Level Finals will be held virtually/online. Details on each event will be provided to shortlisted/winning teams in due course.

10. What are the prizes?

The Country Champions stand to win up to US$2,000 in cash prizes and score internship opportunities at 3M. The final winner, the Regional Champion, stands to win US$5,000 in cash prizes.

11. What are the judges looking for?

The judges are looking for the following criteria:

  • Innovation, Creativity, and Originality
  • Replicability and future-proofed
  • Content

During the presentation, the judging panel will also score teams based on:

  • Verbal Delivery
  • Visual Delivery
  • Time management
  • Q&A

12. Is there any fee to enter the competition?

The challenge is free of charge.

13. Can I enter as an individual if I do not have a team?

Unfortunately, individuals are not allowed to participate. Participants must join as a team of 2 - 4 individuals and the team needs to be gender diverse.

14. Do all team members have to be from the same school?

Participants can be from different schools so long they are studying in the same country.

15. Will I be required to miss class?

Most case competitions happen during the school terms. Therefore, there is a chance that you may miss class. The case competition does not provide students with a legitimate excuse to be absent from class. Students should communicate with and make arrangements directly with their faculties and course coordinators.

16. Can this challenge help me get an internship or job at 3M?

The Country Champions and Regional Champion stand to win up to US$2,000 and US$5,000 cash prizes respectively, and score paid internship opportunities at 3M.

17. Will I get paid for the internship?

Yes, the Country Champions and Regional Champion will score paid internship opportunities at 3M.

18. What kind of the internship at 3M will I be participating in?

The Country Champions will be awarded internships at local 3M offices. The internships are being scoped and details will be provided to winners.

19. I have recently graduated. Can I participate?

No, this challenge is only open to students who are currently pursuing undergraduate degrees.

20. I am under 18 years old. Can I participate?

Yes, as long as you are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree, you are eligible to participate.

21. If a team member withdraws during the competition, will the team be allowed to continue with the competition?

Yes, the team will still be allowed to proceed with the competition as long as the remaining members of the team are gender diverse, i.e. consisting of members of different genders.

22. Who can I contact if I have further questions on the Challenge?

For questions on the challenge that are not addressed on this website, please drop us an email at the following email addresses. Please select the correct email address based on the country that you are currently studying in. 

Country

Email

Australia and New Zealand 3minspirechallenge_anz@mmm.com
India 3minspirechallenge_india@mmm.com
Korea 3minspirechallenge_korea@mmm.com
Indonesia 3minspirechallenge_indonesia@mmm.com
Malaysia 3minspirechallenge_malaysia@mmm.com
Philippines 3minspirechallenge_philippines@mmm.com
Singapore 3minspirechallenge_singapore@mmm.com
Thailand 3minspirechallenge_thailand@mmm.com
Vietnam 3minspirechallenge_vietnam@mmm.com

23. Are students who participated in last year’s challenge allowed to participate again this year?

Yes, as long as you are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree, you are eligible to participate. 

24. How many teams will be shortlisted for the Country-Level Semi-Finals? 

Three teams from each country will be shortlisted to compete in the Country-Level Semi-Finals.

25. How many teams will be in the Regional-Level Finals? 

Nine teams of Country Champions (one representing each of the countries, with one winning team from Australia and New Zealand combined) will compete in the Regional-Level Finals.