Triton Innovation Challenge

What is the Triton Innovation Challenge?

Triton Innovation Challenge

The Triton Innovation Challenge, now in its eighth year, is a business competition focused on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego. Supported through the generosity of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc., the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The competition awards cash prizes totaling $13,500 to support new and innovative ideas that relate to the environment (comes from, inspired by, or directly impacts nature.) Environmentally related social innovation ideas and those with or without a prototype are encouraged to apply. All participants are also eligible to compete for up to $300,000 in investment funding from the Rady Venture Fund and Triton Technology Fund. Anyone (students, faculty and staff) affiliated with UC San Diego is invited to apply.

Who can participate?

Any current UC San Diego student, staff or faculty member can apply.  Those with environmentally relevant ideas at all stages of development, including social innovation ideas, are welcome to submit an application.  

What’s the process?

Applications for the 2019 Triton Innovation Challenge are now open! An esteemed panel of reviewers will select semi-finalists to present to judges on November 13th. Semi-finalists who are not selected as finalists will be able to present at a poster session during the final event on November 21st.

Activities ahead of the event include:

  • A networking mixer for Rady and JSOE students interested in teaming with colleagues from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on October 3rd at noon.
  • An ICorps bootcamp for potential semi-finalists to help prepare for presenting their pitch 


October 14, 2019 – Application and project summary due by midnight
October 18, 2019 – Applicants notified of their status
November 13, 2019 – Semi-finals presentations
November 21, 2019 – Triton Innovation Challenge Finals Event

What are people saying?

I'm ecstatic (about winning) and so proud of myself and my research partner. As a first-year student, I was a bit of an underdog. I'm very happy to win and humbled at the same time. It is great that the Jacobs School, Rady and the Scripps Institution put on this competition. It was a wonderful opportunity for researchers to take and present what we've done and get exposure. We will use the cash prize for patenting our idea and research and development, all the things needed to further develop the product and get it to market.
Uzair Mohammad, Student
Jacobs School of Engineering
2013 first place winner
The Triton Innovation Challenge event provided a unique opportunity to interact with business advisors from UC San Diego's von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center and students from UCSD Rady School of Management and learn about the ways to transition knowledge and information about innovative technology from the academic to the business-oriented environment.
Dariusz Stramski, Professor
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2014 third place winner
Scripps Oceanography provides an open culture to be innovative and creative and to explore the world of learning without barriers. This event allowed me not only to connect with people and organizations that I otherwise would never cross paths with, but also gave me the opportunity to join a team of inventive partners and pursue new education endeavor without boundaries.
Debi Kilb, Project Scientist
Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2014 Social Entrepreneurship prize

Need some inspiration?

Check out the link below for some examples of program participants from prior Triton Innovation Challenge competitions:


For more information, or if you have questions, please contact Karen at