I/ITSEC is now accepting nominations for its second annual Iron Dev competition at I/ITSEC 2021, 29 November – 3 December 2021. Nominations will be open until October 28, 2021. If you are an organization with developers in the training and simulation industry, we are looking for your involvement in this competition to both showcase your team’s skills as well as improve your training system development skills.

Iron Dev is a team competition similar to competitive cooking shows, where teams are given a challenge and “secret ingredient” to develop a training solution to improve warfighter readiness. Teams consists of diverse members with skills in AR/VR development, simulation networking/distribution, graphic design, simulation development, and training development. Teams will have from Nov. 1 to Dec. 2, 2021, to develop their system.

On Dec. 2, 2021 ,the teams will demonstrate their solution in front of a fun and engaging panel of judges in a virtual/online show. The teams will be given a ‘secret ingredient’ on Nov. 29, 2021, the first day of I/ITSEC, for integration into their solution for the final show. Then the teams will be invited to present their solutions live or virtually at I/ITSEC on Dec. 2 2021 to the judges to determine winners in these categories: Best Overall Solution, Most Innovative Solution, and People’s Choice Solution. One team can win all three categories!

The four teams will be provided with admission to the conference at no cost for the five competitors on each team. Transportation, food, and hotel is at the teams’ expense

    Team Nominations

From the submitted nominations, we will select the four competing teams based on information provided. Teams can be formed from academia, government, industry or any combination.
Nominate your team https://www.iitsec.org/get-involved/iron-dev-2021
There are no restrictions on team size or composition.

    Recommended Team Composition

We envision teams capable of developing distributed AR/VR and game-based training/education systems will be well suited for this competition. Recommended team competencies should include distributed simulation expertise, software programmers, digital artists, production, and training developers. We are tailoring our challenge around this skill mix.

    The Nomination Process

Teams will submit their nomination package via online portal. The four teams will be selected and notified based on the following: 1) Potential of the team to develop a distributed AR/VR training/education system, 2) Team composition based on skills, 3) How passionate the team is about being in this competition.

The Challenge

Solve a training/education/operational problem by developing a prototype AR/VR training, education, or operational solution. The solution may be an AR/VR game/simulation/simulator, AR/VR data visualization tool, or a combination of these distributed online. We will also provide a secret ingredient on 29 November 2021 which much be incorporated into the solution for the final show competition on 2 December 2021. This secret ingredient is more inspirational than a physical ingredient and teams will be evaluated on how well their solution incorporates in the spirit of the secret ingredient and provides training/education value. The ‘secret ingredient’ to the competition will be relatively minor and focused on digital artwork.

    The Competition Timeline
    1 November 2021.

Kickoff event online. Teams will receive the final challenge and participate in Q&A about the challenge.

    Monday, 29 November 2021.

The teams will be given a ‘secret ingredient’ to the competition. During the day, we will have technical experts discuss the teams’ solutions individually to provide background technical perspectives about the solutions to the judges. Teams will have until Thursday to refine their solution and presentation. Onsite development space will be available for teams attending I/ITSEC.

    Thursday, 2 December 2021.

This is the final show and where the teams and their solution will be viewed by many at the conference in a 90-minute show. Each team will then be provided 10-15 minutes to demonstrate their solution and discuss the value of the system and how well they addressed the challenge and used the secret ingredient. Judges will then ask questions and assess the system. Remember there will be entertainment value to this so expect this to be a fun and engaging dialogue with the judges. After all demos are complete, the judges will announce the winner and prizes will be provided.


We will have a panel of industry and government experts. They will evaluate the following: Technical Execution, Addressing the Challenge, Addressing the Secret Ingredient, Boldness/Innovation. Most important factor being judged is the original thought and execution by the team. Also, remember this competition is intended to be professionally developing and rewarding.

Tools and Software

Teams will provide their own computers, equipment, distribution hardware/software, and AR/VR hardware/software.

Spirit of the Competition

Please note that the intent of the competition is to develop unique solutions in a fun, engaging, and honest competition. Therefore, in that spirit, avoid using previously developed products that are complete, or nearly complete, that gives distinct competitive advantage.

Brian Vogt, SAIC, brian.vogt@saic.com

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