2021 BIOTech Futures Challenge (Sydney)

The BIOTech Futures Challenge 2021 will pair teams of Australian high school students with worldclass academics at leading universities in NSW and VIC to tackle challenges ranging from human health to ecosystem sustainability.



Students in Years 9-12 at any Australian high school will get the opportunity to come up with solutions to challenges in the field of Health & Medicine or Energy & Environment. These ideas will be presented at a two-day Symposium from 8-9 February 2021 at the University of Sydney, which provides a forum to both the Universities seeking solutions and the students who strive to solve them.

This year’s Challenge will link students with academics from the University of Sydney, as well as the ARC Training Centres for Innovative Bioengineering, Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, Medical Implant Technologies, Data Analytics for Resources & Environment and CubeSats, UAVs and Their Applications.

COVID-19 statement:
The Symposium has been moved from early December to early February 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation. If this situation persists, then virtual conferencing software may be considered as an alternative to an in-person alternative. Please expect an update by mid-October.​

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Exposes students to bioengineering research in Health & Medicine or Energy & Environment

Inspires students to tackle real-world problems by using an approach inspired by biology – the study of life

Provides students with the opportunity to communicate/work with world-leading researchers from Australian Universities

Opportunity for students to present their ideas to academics, industry representatives and their peers at a purpose-designed Symposium

How to


To participate in the challenge, please submit an expression of interest to the program. Applications open on 31st August 2020 and will close on 23rd October 2020.



  • Prior to Application: Decide on a project

  • 31st August 2020: Application opens

  • 2nd October 2020: Application closes

  • 17th January 2020: Project submission deadline

  • 8th - 9th February 2021: Symposium

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Self-Guided Winner

Best project from self guided student: TBC

Medicine Theme Winner

Best innovation in the Medicine category: Research internship at the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Bioengineering.

Energy and Environment Theme Winner

Best innovation in the E&E category: TBC

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