Project SOY Judging Criteria

Students participating in the Project SOY Plus program do not have to have prior education with product development and marketing. Emphasis will be placed on student effort, thought, research and learning. Students will be rewarded based on what they have gained from their participation in Project SOY Plus.

Student ideas must be original. You are responsible for exploring the current commercial uses of plant-based species and must strive to create a new use or marketing strategy. It is important that the products that are developed by students are not available through patent, copyright, publication, commercial process or product. The idea must be developed by the student team but may include input from faculty mentor(s). During project evaluation the merit and feasibility of the project idea, as well as the time and thought dedicated to developing it will be considered.

The final project report will include a one-page project abstract, background information, product or marketing scheme technical basis, feasibility evidence, substantiating data and an economic assessment of its commercial potential. The project report will be 50 per cent of the final grade for the contest. Some previous projects are available for reference at the Project SOY Plus office.

The display and the presentation given by students at the finale will also be worth 50 per cent. There will be five judges for the competition and each will conduct a short interview with team participants in front of their displays. Students will not be penalized for not having an actual product prototype to display. If a prototype is available is should be well backed up with research and thought. Displays should be developed in science fair format (see “Presentation Tips” page). The physical display is secondary to the students’ knowledge of the project. Below is the judging criteria breakdown which the judges receive.

Creativity: Score out of 20%

Innovation and creativity are imperative. It is important that the students are exercising independent thought. If the students are improving an existing product or marketing strategy there should still be ample evidence that their creativity has improved the original idea to require new marketing schemes and product definitions. The students should be able to show their ingenuity during their presentation and throughout their project report.

Idea Analysis: score out of 20%

The students are responsible for conducting a background check to ensure that their idea is original. The students should be thorough and investigate numerous sources such as books, journals, popular press, internet and relevant companies.
Analysis of the marketplace should be conducted to determine if the new product or marketing scheme will be beneficial to the targeted audience. Have the students made a correlation between the marketplace and their product, outlining where the product fits? Does the product or marketing scheme successfully meet the needs of the targeted consumer? Would the product be economically feasible?

Learning Value: Score out of 20%

Does the project meet Project SOY Plus requirements (see information sheet)? Have the students put ample time and consideration into the project? Are the students enthusiastic about their product or marketing scheme? How effective was the written report and display? Were the students thorough? Have they researched their target consumer, similar products, and development techniques and cost, extensively? Are the students able to discuss the aspects of the project in an understandable and orderly fashion? How much input came from the mentor? Has the written project been expressed well by the students clearly and concisely? Was each team member fully involved with the project? Are the individual students aware of all aspects of the project or their individual tasks and responsibilities? Does the final work reflect the combined effort of all of the students?

Social and Commercial Value: Score out of 10%

Will the product or marketing scheme have the ability to increase the awareness and the use of products in industry? What is the potential of the product or marketing scheme? What is the overall impression given by the project?

Marketability: Score out of 10%

Is the target market clearly identified and outlined? Have the students considered how the product would be marketed on a large scale, commercially? Does it have potential in a commercial setting? Has the cost of the prototype been used to determine industrial cost to develop the product extensively (ingredients, packaging, transport)?

Practicality: Score out of 10%

How easily can the product be introduced to the market? How easily can the marketing strategy be implemented? Have the students addressed how their product or marketing scheme will be adopted? If appropriate, have the students done a market survey?

Sustainability: Score out of 10%

Will the product or marketing plan have a long-term effect on consumers? Does the product or marketing plan have the potential to remain in the market for a long period of time? Does the product have a positive impact on the environment or consumer? Does the development process lead to energy conservation?