The Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC) was founded in 2008 with a 6-word business plan:
- Seek emerging innovations
- Hasten commercialization
Beginning with two partners (now SAE International and the MI Innovation Alliance) and 10 attendees in a small conference room at SAE Detroit, GAMIC has grown into an 8-month, 3-round global search for innovation which culminates at the World Finals, in front of the 10,000-attendee SAE World Congress.
The automotive industry was founded on creativity, incorporating new innovations into their products since the start of the automobile; however, those innovations were, by and large, developed internally. That model began to change in the early 2000’s, driven by internal challenges (corporate downsizing, reduced R&D budgets, and globalization / outsourcing) and compounded by external challenges (new industry entrants, new mobility solutions and the rise of entrepreneurial start-ups). This led to three key questions:
- Was there a way to systematically source and evaluate new technologies and help introduce them to top-level OEM decision-makers, bypassing multiple levels of screening and not-invented-here blockage?
- Could a group of volunteers help mentor technologies and innovators new to the automotive and/or mobility industries, to successfully accelerate their paths to more seamless commercialization?
- Could a process focused on global technology spotlighting, mentoring, and commercialization acceleration help create new early-stage investment opportunities?
Now entering its 9th year, GAMIC has:
- Annually reached out to over 150 technical societies, start-up support organizations and technology promoters around the globe for applicants and support in seeking out applicants
- Featured technology entrants from across 12 of the United States (California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee) and Washington D.C.
- Attracted foreign participants – from Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan and South Korea
- Since 2013 held its Challenge Finals at Cobo Center during the SAE World Congress, which attracts over 10,000 engineers and technologists from around the globe
- Awarded over $200,000 in cash and in-kind commercialization services each year to its four (4) Challenge Winners
- Attracted over 50 mentors to help GAMIC semi-finalists and finalists hone their technology presentations and investor pitches for the Semi-finals, Finals and early investor showcases
- Seen its Award Winners obtain OEM contracts, enter serial production and/or raise multi-million dollar investment capital
- Expanded its annual process to include a new Quarter-final round of screening – at locations in Metro Detroit, in Silicon Valley, and outside of the U.S., in Canada