Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters
Opportunity for USA Student Teams at IHEs to Compete
in the Development of Smart Aviation Technology

2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - National Institute of Aerospace

Deadline Date:

01/20/22 11:59 PM ET


Request a Grant Writer

Opportunity for USA student teams at IHEs to participate in a competition to develop smart technologies for application in the aviation field. The competition is intended to stimulate university students to design innovative solutions to issues related to transportation technology while improving the human aspect of the traveler’s experience. Projects will benefit airspace system users in the areas of commercial air transportation, general aviation, emerging operations, and traveling public.

2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition

This year’s FAA Challenge focuses on Smart Connected Aviation, providing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to design, build, and test smart technology that has the ability to improve traveler’s transportation experiences and the efficiency of the national aviation ecosystem.

The FAA is developing a vision for an info-centric National Airspace System (NAS). Full connectivity will come from infrastructure supporting NAS operations that enable all systems to share data. With all types of devices connected to the Internet (known as the Internet of Things [IoT]) and advances in wireless technology, nearly everything can be connected from nearly any location at any time.

The FAA is using this competition to stimulate and advance innovation in aviation research; promote the development of a robust aviation workforce to support a growing and evolving aerospace system; develop a pipeline to fill current and projected shortages via partnerships with academia and industry; and drive a passion for aviation in today’s youth of all ages and backgrounds. The FAA intends to incentivize university-level students at accredited United States-based colleges and universities to think creatively in developing solutions to transportation technology challenges while addressing the human factors aspects of the traveler’s experience, and to share those innovations with the broader community.

Through the Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition, FAA seeks innovative ideas from the academic community that take advantage of a future info-centric NAS (including connected aircraft) that will benefit NAS users in the following four user categories:

  • Commercial Air Transportation
  • General Aviation
  • Emerging Operations
  • Traveling Public

Teams should address one of the four aforementioned categories. For details about each of these categories, see the Guidelines ("Challenge Overview") listed in Pre-Application Information below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200072

Number of Grants:

One winning team will be selected for each of the four categories.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Four (4) $10,000 cash prizes will be offered – one (1) for each category winner. An additional $15,000 will be offered to the best overall submission.
- A travel reimbursement of up to $6,000 will be awarded to each of the four finalist teams to help offset the cost of traveling to New Jersey to demonstrate their concepts. Student participants of each finalist team will receive certificates.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students at accredited United States-based colleges and universities. Teams may include senior capstone students, clubs, multi-university or multi-disciplinary students. Teams are encouraged to collaborate and work in concert with industry partners.

- Student team members must have been enrolled in a United States-based college or university for at least one semester (or quarterly equivalent) during the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Team members, including all faculty advisors and students, must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
- The designated lead academic institution must submit the application on behalf of the team.
- Each member of the team must meet the eligibility criteria.
- An individual may join more than one team.
- Team sizes may vary widely. The core team must contain, at a minimum, one faculty advisor from the lead academic institution who has worked on the project and two students who can be available to present the final project at the culminating event in late June 2022.
- Eligibility is limited to students from colleges and universities in the United States. (Foreign universities are not eligible to participate in the FAA Challenge.)

The team and/or team members may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of employment (this includes co-op students with civil servant status).

Team members may not be an employee of the DOT, including but not limited to the FAA.

Pre-Application Information:

Project Plan Proposals: Due by 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, January 20, 2022

- October 31, 2021: Expression of Interest (EOI) Deadline (Optional)
- November 15, 2021: Q&A Session Webinar
- January 20, 2022: Project Plan Proposal Deadline
- February 28, 2022: Teams Notified of Selection Status
- May 8, 2022: Technical Paper Deadline
- Late June 2022: Presentation Files Deadline
- Late June 2022: 2022 FAA Challenge: Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition Forum
*Unless otherwise stated, all deadlines must be met by 11:59 PM ET on the date specified.

1. Thoroughly review the Challenge guidelines.
2. Find a qualified advisor and a diverse team of students.
3. Ensure that your team meets the eligibility requirements.
4. Develop and submit a project plan proposal by the deadline.
5. Based on a review of the project plans, four finalist teams will advance to the next phase of the competition to further develop their proposed concept.
6. Finalist teams will be responsible for submission of a technical paper and poster presentation, due early May 2022.
7. Finalist teams will be invited to New Jersey to the 2022 FAA Challenge Forum. to demonstrate their concepts in a face-to-face presentation/design review in front of FAA subject matter experts in late June 2022.

There may be an opportunity during the Forum for teams to present their concept to a wider public audience of aviation and aeronautic professionals and/or local high school students.

Finalist teams will also be invited to an awards ceremony where the prizes will be presented to the lead university of the winning teams.



Deliverable Submissions:

Dates and deadlines:



Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

- To submit an Expression of Interest (optional):
- To submit a Project Plan Proposal:

Please direct inquiries to the FAA Challenge Program team at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( )

Suggested Grants:

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Address the Climate Crisis and Reduce Inequality

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to reduce social inequality and promote solutions to the climate crisis. Eligible programs will address the areas of racial and economic justice, corporate and political accountability; voice, creativity, and culture; and an inclusi

GrantWatch ID#: 123756

Grants to Virginia Nonprofits for Public Programs that Promote the Humanities in Local Commu...

Deadline 01/15/23 LOI Date: 11/15/22

Grants to Virginia nonprofit organizations for programs that promote the humanities in local communities. Certain applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to a full grant application. All applicants are advised to contact Foundation staff prior to submitting a pro

GrantWatch ID#: 125447

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits for Community Benefit Programs Primarily to Support Youth

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations for community benefit initiatives. A letter of intent must be submitted prior to submitting a full proposal. Priority is given to addressing the needs of low-income youth, children, and their families. The funding source s

GrantWatch ID#: 125830

Grants to Researchers Affiliated with Qualified USA Institutions to Improve Clinical Researc...

Deadline 08/26/22 LOI Date: 07/08/22

Grants of up to $50,000 to researchers affiliated with qualified USA institutions to advance research in the field of pediatric oncology. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to increase the institution's

GrantWatch ID#: 125838

Grants to USA and Canada Nonprofit Charitable Organizations to Impact Public Policy in a Var...

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA and Canada nonprofit charitable organizations to impact public policy in a variety of national and international issues. In previous years, grants have been awarded for general operations and project support to think tanks, national councils, judicial orga

GrantWatch ID#: 125864

Grants to New York and Pennsylvania Families Caring for a Child with Cancer to Offset Treatm...

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to New York and Pennsylvania families living in eligible areas and caring for a child with cancer to offset expenses related to the child's cancer treatments. Funding is intended to cover costs not covered by health insurance, including travel costs, housing, and

GrantWatch ID#: 125904

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Protect Natural Resources

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to protect natural resources on land and water in locations around the world. Funding is intended to ensure that activities to acquire metals, gemstones, and corals for design use do not have an adverse impact on the area of origin.

GrantWatch ID#: 126162

Grants to USA Nonprofits in Multiple States for Community-Based Social Change Initiatives

Deadline 05/31/22

Grants of up to $5,000 to Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia nonprofit organizations for community-based social change initiatives in eligible areas. Funding is intended to support organizational operations. Eligible applicants are those serving communitie

GrantWatch ID#: 126411

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits in Eligible Locations to Address Community Needs

Deadline 10/01/22

Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for projects and capital campaigns that address community needs. Applicants requesting support for a capital campaign are asked to contact the funding source prior to submitting an application. Projects are

GrantWatch ID#: 126506

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Independent Filmmakers for Feature-Length Films

Deadline 06/06/22

Grants of up to $25,000 and grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International independent filmmakers for feature-length film projects. Funding is intended to support projects at any production phase from development through post-production. Priority will be give

GrantWatch ID#: 127055