MDRA to offer boat design scholarship

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Continuing efforts to attract new design talent with fresh ideas to the boating industry, the Marine Design Resource Alliance is offering the MDRA $25,000 Pinnacle Scholarship Award, the organization said in a press release Friday.

Open to students registered in a collegiate level design program worldwide, $15,000 will be awarded to the student who creates the top design overall, with $10,000 going to the school.

Entries consist of a pictorial rendering of a design proposal that creates a new boating/marine concept, design or solution to a specific problem. Categories include powerboat design, sailboat design or other marine applications that include interior design, safety and rescue, docks, piers, recreational and underwater devices or concepts that are not a boat but still related to the marine industry.

“Competition from automotive and other prominent industries who also offer scholarship awards has been gradually eroding the number of entries we receive each year,” said Joe Parks, 3M Marine business manager and MDRA board member. “MDRA felt that we could contribute to Grow Boating by significantly boosting the monetary value of the award and entice emerging designers to look at a career in the many facets of the boating industry.”

To date, contributors include 3M Marine, Premier Pontoons, Chris Craft and Wendt Productions, Inc. Additional supporters include Avalon-Tahoe Manufacturing Inc, Mercury Marine and PlayCraft Boats.

“Our goal is to spotlight design as a creative resource rather than a function of engineering,” said Peter Granata, MDRA president. “In addition to the pictorial rendering, each submission is accompanied by a written statement explaining how the design proposal achieves its purpose. Specifically we’re looking at use of design as a way to increase sales, cut costs, demonstrate social responsibility or heighten awareness of boating.”

Entries will be accepted through July 15, 2008, and judged by a panel of design judges, including Jack Telnack, former head of corporate design for Ford Motor Co.

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