Some pretty lucky students from Ottawa’s Algonquin College have an assignment that many professional designers can only dream off.

The third and fourth-year design students from Algonquin College are competing come up with an ideal concept for Lockheed Martin Canada’s future innovation facility called the IMPACT Centre.

When it’s finally built, it is hoped that the centre will drive significant economic growth across the country by bringing together Canadian industry and academia together to carry out research, development, and advancement of economic technologies.

With this innovation focus, the company decided to reach out to future designers to come up with innovative design concepts for the building.

Lockheed and Algonquin College worked together to develop a design exercise that will see three teams of four students competing to draw up a design for the building.

With an initial core focus on naval systems, work showcased at the Centre will aim to meet Canada’s needs for the Canadian Surface Combatant and international opportunities. The centre will also look to harness leading technologies in sustainment, performance-based logistics, training and solar energy.

“As we engage with Canadian businesses and universities for our programmes, we continue to find a depth of knowledge and a quality of research being done in Canada equal to the best in the world,” said said Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada Mission Systems and Training. “We are thrilled to invest in this Canadian innovation and capability through our new demonstration centre.”

Recently, they toured the space and reviewed architectural drawings, design specifications, and room requirements with Lockheed Martin Canada’s programme engineers and consultants to prepare their submissions.

“Our team decided to go with the concept of the ‘eye of the storm’ because we thought it was representative of Lockheed Martin’s values of integration,” said Jessica Drolet, an Algonquin College design student. “Presenting today was definitely a good learning experience. It’s something that we would be exposed to when we graduate, and that’s definitely something that I’m taking to heart and learning from this.”

A second team drew inspiration from Canada’s Arctic, pulling edgy design and lighting elements of ice, glaciers, and snow into their submission.

Another concept incorporated vibrant artistic elements into the space using earth’s elements and tying the theme to Lockheed Martin’s business areas.

Future innovators are helping to design Lockheed Martin Canada’s future innovation centre in Ottawa. Lockheed Martin Canada teamed with third and fourth-year design students at Ottawa’s Algonquin College in a competition to come up with an innovative design concept for the new space.

The winning team and concept will be unveiled at the grand opening of the IMPACT Centre in March 2016. The engagement with Algonquin College was the first step in leveraging the IMPACT Centre to strengthen Lockheed Martin’s relationships with Canadian universities and academia.