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element14 Community and Microchip launch the “Upcycle IoT” Design Challenge

New design challenge encourages element14 Community to upcycle e-waste into IoT connected projects

Chicago – September 13, 2023: element14, an Avnet Community, in collaboration with Microchip, recently launched the “Upcycle IoT” Design Challenge, a pioneering initiative aimed at inspiring the element14 Community to repurpose electronic waste into innovative IoT-connected projects. The challenge invites community members to breathe new life into old or malfunctioning electronic devices by integrating them into their unique IoT creations.

20 selected participants will be given the Microchip SAM E51 Curiosity Nano and a selection of MikroE Click Boards to utilize and give an old piece of hardware an IoT upgrade or reinvigorate a failed control board, all while learning about the beauty of upcycling and competing for prizes.

“With more than 50 million metric tons of e-waste generated globally, we’re excited to launch a challenge that educates our community about upcycling while reducing some of the e-waste for the year,” said Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community and Social Media for element14. “We’re looking forward to seeing the creative ways our members bring new life to a project and generate great results.”

Designers participating in the challenge can let their imaginations run wild, potentially creating projects such as:

  • Upgrading a malfunctioning washing machine with IoT capabilities to notify users when the laundry is complete
  • Adding a remote notification system to a child’s electric scooter to remind them when it’s time to head home
  • Repairing broken laboratory equipment and enabling it to report findings to an IoT data platform
  • Transforming an outdated air conditioning unit into a smart, IoT-connected device controllable via a smartphone app 

Applications for the “Upcycle IoT” Design Challenge open on September 12 and will remain open until October 6. Selected participants will then receive the SAM E51 Curiosity Nano platform and must submit their projects, along with a minimum of five blog posts, by December 12, 2023.

The grand prize winner of the challenge will receive a Jackery Solar Generator 1000 and a Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel. Additionally, the runner-up prize winner will receive a Jackery Explorer 550 Portable Power Station. All challengers will be awarded a finisher prize consisting of a Wall Mounted Can Crusher.

For more details about the “Upcycle IoT” Challenge and to register for the competition, please visit

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