2023 Ergo Cup® Competition FAQ

The following FAQs address common questions the Ergo Cup® Committee receives during the registration process and feedback received after the conference. We value your opinion and consider each suggestion for opportunities to improve the Ergo Cup competition.

The competition is sponsored by The Ergonomics Center of North Carolina and Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

(Click here to download a PDF version of this page.)

What are the expectations of competing in the 2023 Ergo Cup Competition?

Finalists accepted to compete in the 2023 Ergo Cup Competition will be expected to:

  1. Develop and submit a project brochure that summarizes your project
  2. Develop and submit a project video (≤ 3-min.) that highlights your project
  3. Setup a virtual exhibit posting (in coordination with IISE) that contains your project description, brochure, and video that's digitally available to conference registrants.
  4. Attend the conference "in-person" and setup a physical exhibit booth in order to be eligible to compete for the Ergo Cup® and Ergo Excellence Awards. (EXCEPTION: Teams that do not attend "in-person" are eligible for the Virtual Exhibit Ergo Excellence Award.) 

As always, Ergo Cup Teams should plan to highlight the judging criteria for their projects:

  1. Innovation
  2. Simplicity
  3. Cost Savings/ROI
  4. Ergonomic Risk Reduction
  5. Presentation Quality, and for Program Improvement Initiatives
  6. Measurable Performance Objectives
  7. Sustainability

Such information will be used by the Ergo Cup Judges as well as conference registrants, as they vote for the Ergo Excellence Awards. While not part of the judging criteria this year, teams will also have an opportunity to highlight how their project impacted Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at their workplace.

I have heard that the cost savings/return on investment (ROI) description is very important to a successful Ergo Cup® entry. Can you provide specific guidelines that the Ergo Cup Committee is looking for?  
Yes, it is and the cost savings/ROI is of great interest to the conference registrants who will stop by your booth or see your project’s virtual exhibit posting available to conference attendees. Cost savings/ROI should consider both direct injury cost savings (medical and lost time) but also productivity, efficiency, quality, and performance improvements. Ideally, the intervention should be in place at least a year and those savings should be actual and not potential. There is great flexibility in how you present your cost savings/ROI, but please be as specific as you can.

Our company has an internal competition for ergo projects. How do we need to enter?
If you have an internal competition and are submitting an application in the "Team Driven Solutions" or "Engineering/Ergonomist Driven Workplace Solutions" category, it MUST be put into the category specific to internal competitions. NOTE: Regardless of whether the submitted project competed in the company's internal competition, if your site was eligible to compete in the company's internal completion, your project will be placed in this category since internal resources are available that may give these projects an unfair advantage over companies without internal competitions and resources. There currently is not a specific category for internal competitions in the "Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiatives" categories.

Can an intervention or a portion of an engineering intervention in any Ergo Cup category be a purchased piece of equipment from a vendor?
For the most part no. Remember, the Ergo Cup is intended to award "Innovation." The Ergo Cup Committee will carefully review each registration to ensure that the solution is indeed simple, creative, and innovative and the result of the work of the team or engineer/ergonomist. There are many examples of vendor-based solutions with great ROI results but the differentiation of the Ergo Cup is to showcase the excellent interventions designed and developed "in-house."

We have totally automated our production line thereby eliminating ergonomic risks. Will this project be accepted into the engineering category?
No. While we applaud eliminating risks, to be an Ergo Cup entry you need to still have employees involved in the process. For example, purchasing a robot to stack pallets is a great solution but not one that would be considered for the Ergo Cup.

We are only a small company. Do we really have a chance to win the Ergo Cup?
Yes! Size of the company is not an issue to the judging committee and small employers have won an Ergo Cup in the past. It is all about the project.

If we submit an entry into the Ergo Cup, does that mean we are automatically accepted as a finalist?
No. The Ergo Cup Committee carefully reviews all the submissions and selects those that we feel best meet the criteria set forth on the website and in the recorded webinars as finalists. Each year a number of entries do not make the cut.

Who are the Ergo Cup Committee members and can I become a member?
Absolutely! The Ergo Cup Committee is made up of volunteers selected by the Ergo Cup committee chairs. The only prerequisite is that committee members be experienced ergonomics practitioners. Each request is considered individually. There are no degree or certification requirements to be a member of the committee.

Who are the Ergo Cup judges and can I become an Ergo Cup judge?
Judges of the Ergo Cup Competition are Ergo Cup Committee members who are also willing to judge the finalists (virtually for 2021). Judges are approved by the Ergo Cup Chairs. Like the Ergo Cup committee members, judges must be experienced ergo practitioners. An Ergo Cup committee member or judge will not evaluate an Ergo Cup registration or judge a finalist  from their own company or from a project in which they have served as a consultant. If you are interested in being a judge, seek out the Ergo Cup co-chairs or a member of the Ergo Cup Committee.

Will there be time for our Ergo Cup team to take advantage of the educational sessions at the conference?  
Yes. A judging schedule will be provided to the teams that provides an approximate date/time during the conference for teams to be in their booth to present to the Ergo Cup judges. Teams will also receive a schedule with the dedicated Exhibit Hours in which they should plan to have coverage (at least one person) at the booth. Such scheduling and coverage allows team members to attend educational sessions throughout the conference.

We are considering some "creative" enhancements to our booth setup. Are we restricted to what enhancements we can make?
Yes. While creativity is encouraged, there are limits. Your booth set-up is limited to a 10' X 10' space with 3' side panels and an 8' back wall. Exhibits and display fixtures cannot obstruct sight lines of neighboring exhibits. 8' is allowed only in the rear half of the booth space, with a 4' height restriction imposed on all materials in the remaining space forward to the aisle. It is our goal to provide each booth full visibility from the aisles. If an Ergo Cup booth interferes with this sightline, the offending portion of the exhibit may need to be removed.

We are considering offering a gift raffle to attract attendees to our booth. Are we allowed to hold raffle events in our booth?
We discourage any and all booth events or activities that might be perceived by other Ergo Cup finalists as an advantage by one finalist over another. A raffle might be construed as such an advantage so no. This is more of an issue with the Ergo Excellence Awards which are selected by the conference registrants more than the Ergo Cup Award winner selected by the judges.

My innovative product is commercially available for sale. Can we submit this as an Ergo Cup entry?
Commercially available products are NOT in the spirit of the Ergo Cup and do not qualify for the competition. The Ergo Cup Competition provides an exciting opportunity for companies to highlight their successful ergonomic solution and promotes the development of an ergonomics culture in companies.

Our ergonomics solution is going through the "patent pending" process. When should the application for the Ergo Cup® Competition be submitted?
We recommend that any potential Ergo Cup application not be submitted until the "patent" process is complete. Part of the competition process is sharing your solution with the conference registrants and judges. If this interferes with the potential "patent" of your solution, we suggest you submit your application after the patent process is complete.

Social Media – Can our organization promote our Ergo Cup booth via social media?
Yes, but please do so ethically. Promoting the conference, the Ergo Cup Competition, and trying to attract attendees to your booth is good use of social media. However, please refrain from any negative or derogatory posts about fellow contestant companies.

If you have additional questions, please contact IISE at cs@iise.org.