RALEIGH, N.C. – Red Hat is issuing a couple of ‘challenges” in a search for innovation.

First, students in a select number of countries and affiliated with one institution are eligible for the “Red Hat Challenge” for teams.

Second, the Hatters are launching a series of “Innovation Awards” that will be presented at their annual conference in May in San Diego.

The student team is eligible for a $20,000 prize – and no doubt will automatically be on a short list for jobs at the Raleigh-based Linux software and services provider.

Teams will receive the “Question” on March 12.

“The question will be released to participants on March 12th. The question and the supporting materials are confidential and not to be released,” the Red Hat rules state. “While the question will be open-ended to allow for creativity and lateral thinking, winning concepts will be specific and well-articulated.”

The entrants will compete based on a concept plan,

“The concept plan is a 3-5 page document (in pdf format) that you and your team develop in response to your assigned challenge question,” Red Hat said in the rules. “We provide a concept plan outline which submissions must mirror.”

Teams will have 13 days to submit their response.

The contest stipulates that this is to be a students-only event. Here’s a note from the Q&A:

“May we collaborate with other individuals such as professors or outside consultants?”


The five finalists teams will be notified of their selection on April 1 and then allowed to make 15-minute presentations to a panel of judges through a conference call.

Teams must be made up of "full-time / part-time / executive students attending graduate business school or graduate design school in pursuit of a master’s in business administration or similar degree."

However, a student must be a legal resident of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Innovation Awards Highlight JBoss as Well

The Innovation Awards, meanwhile are set aside for Red Hat users, customers and partners and include JBoss, the Java middleware applications firm acquired last year by Red Hat.

Here are the categories as described by Red Hat:

• Joint Red Hat/JBoss Deployment: Recognition of an innovative solution that leverages Red Hat and JBoss solutions together, or one that uses Red Hat Application Stack.

• Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Implementation: Recognition of a solution that leverages SOA concepts to solve a business problem while improving system utilization and agility.

• Increased Return on Investment: Recognition of an innovative approach to drive out cost and achieve measurable ROI as a result of implementing a Red Hat solution. Results could include financial return or percentage increase in productivity, yield, efficiency, quality or uptime performance.

• Ecosystem: Red Hat’s partner ecosystem offers customers a wide variety of choices for proven, industry-standard technology solutions to solve real-world business challenges. Companies will have the opportunity to explain how they leveraged these solutions to build innovative architectures based on open source.

• Emerging and Leading Edge Technologies: Recognition of companies who have implemented cutting-edge future technology found in Fedora, JBoss.org and other open source projects.

An overall “Innovator of the Year” award will be selected by online voting among the “Red Hat community,” the Hatters said. Among the benefits is a stipend of an unspecified amount. Nominations are due by March 30.

Among the judges are Michael Tiemann, president of the Open Source Initiative, and Chris Blizzard of the One Laptop Per Child project, which Red Hat supports.