FIKALAB Open Call 2020

If you like technology, the FIKALAB Open Call 2020 is the opportunity to challenge yourself, use technology in new and interesting ways, and surprise with something magical.

FIKALAB Open Call 2020

Who can participate?

Everyone. Individually, any Critical family member, including outsourcers, in all geographies. Or as a team, up to a maximum of four people, always led by a Critical employee, may include colleagues from any Critical family company and at most one outside person – a friend, relative, teacher, researcher…

Until when can I apply?

You have until March 8th, to send an e-mail indicating the team members (if that’s the case), which project will be developed and what help do you need from FIKALAB for execution. The candidates accepted for this year’s call will be announced from March 13th.

What are the other deadlines?

Until the end of November, you will have to present a functional prototype which, if approved by the FIKALAB coordinating commission, will be presented to the jury of the contest.

The winning person or team will be announced at the Critical Summit in December.


It’s not the most important, of course. But it’s a way of rewarding your effort and an incentive for those who accept to challenge themselves in this project. A surprise prize will be awarded to the winning team.

Available projects

This is a list of projects available for the call in 2020. Some restrictions apply in terms of your location. All projects based on the TTN initiative have local infrastructure support.

Available resources for the execution of the project

In addition to the available budget for each team to acquire new hardware or services for their project, the following shared resources are also available in the laboratory (some items are only available in selected sites):

  • 3D printer;
  • Laser engraving and CNC carving;
  • Label printer;
  • Mini drill with accessories;
  • Access to Amazon AWS infrastructure, including IoT and AI/machine learning framework throughout the project;
  • The Things Network platform;
  • Soldering workbench with hot air repair station and other tools;
  • Oscilloscope, logic and multifunction analyzer (spectrum analyzer, SPI / I2C / UART digital bus analyzers, etc.);
  • A range of kits for several development platforms, including sensors, LoRaWAN radios, and assorted accessories (see inventory).


  1. People may apply individually or in groups, max number of people per group is 4.
  2. This initiative is open to all Critical Software, Critical TechWorks, as well as other members of the Critical family and Outsourcers in all geographies. Due to logistics constraints, the number of applications that will be accepted is limited.
  3. Teams may include people from outside Critical family (from Critical family companies or any other companies or educational institutions). At least 1 member should be an employee of Critical family and at most 1 member from outside Critical. The members that are not part of the Critical family must be validated (by management and security office) to guarantee they have conditions to access FIKALAB and Critical facilities and systems.
  4. Teams can be setup until 8th March 2020; after this date, new submissions will not be accepted. Submissions need to be sent to the FIKALAB commission, by email – At a bare minimum, any submission, individually or group, need to list initial members names, including team leader and the selected project (external members need to be validated).
  5. Teams may later include new team members as they see fit if previous rules are observed. FIKALAB commission needs to be noticed by email whenever a new member is added to the team.
  6. Each team must indicate a team leader; the team leader must be an employee of Critical family and will be the main point of contact with the FIKALAB commission until the end of the competition.
  7. The promotion, marketing, management of the teamwork is the responsibility of the team, headed by the team leader. It can start as soon as the team submission is accepted.
  8. The FIKALAB Commission is responsible to accept/reject submissions and publish them in the FIKALAB site
  9. The FIKALAB has a comprehensive list of kit in its current inventory. Users are required to choose parts from this inventory. If the specific part is not available and a compatible part cannot be identified in the current inventory, users are allowed to use their budget according to the limits in section 10.
  10. Additional to the lab material and lab cloud service subscriptions, each project will have a budget up to 300€ for additional hardware components and design services.
  11. The ownership of the assets designed, purchased or developed in this challenge follow the general rule of the FIKALAB and become a property of a Critical family company.
  12. The project can use any materials, services, and tools available in the lab and technology developed in full by the team. It is not allowed to buy external software components to incorporate in the application. For this challenge, it is mandatory to use the platform hardware and software ecosystem formed by the hardware, SDKs, BSPs SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and software frameworks identified, proposed and/or approved by the FIKALAB coordination commission.
  13. Lab equipment can be used by any team. The generic reservation mechanism defined for the lab is applicable to this challenge. If more than one team requests the same equipment at the same time and can’t reach an agreement, the time will be sliced by the teams.
  14. If the lab commission detects that a team or individual is not using any scheduled material or tool it will be removed and provided to other teams that may have requested it.
  15. The winning team will be voted by the program jury. The jury selection is the responsibility of the FIKALAB commission. There is no prize for second place. The winning project is the one with more votes.
  16. To be considered an eligible project there is a minimum of quality that needs to be accomplished. The lab commission will do this evaluation and propose to the program jury the projects eligible for voting. Only accepted projects will go undervoting. The accepted projects shall be announced until 30th November 2020. If the project is not eligible the team or individual applicant will be declassified.
  17. The prize will be released to the winning individual or team at once. It’s up to the team leader and the rest of the team to decide how to use or share the prize. On written request from the team leader, the 1st prize can be provided in credit for other goods, such as travel for conferences, conference fees, technology or other knowledge resources. The credit amount is limited by the estimated commercial value of the prize as of March 2020 and it’s up to the discretion of Critical Software to accept and to procure a supplier for those goods.