The World Automotive Design Competition sponsored by Alias Incorporated and hosted by the Canadian International Auto show will be back in Toronto again next year. Transportation design students from 19 schools around the world are invited and will be vying for the $130,000 (U.S.) first prize money. The students must take a popular vehicle manufactured in their country and project what it might look like in the year 2015. The identity the vehicle maintains in its country (function, values and character) should be reflected in the new design. "The design competition is a part of the show which gives us the chance to see what the young minds of the automotive design industry are thinking of," says Jim McCraw of the magazine Popular Mechanics. Schools from China, France, Japan, England, Wales, Italy, Spain, Korea, India, Sweden, the U.S.A. and Canada are involved. The award given by computer graphics technology supplier Alias rewards the student with the best computer generated presentation. There will be a second and third place winner category added this year, "We believe that investing in students, helping them to expand their skills and knowledge is critical in maintaining the automotive design industry’s high standard of excellence, " says Peter Mehlstaeuble, vice president of Alias product development. The first place winner will receive $10,000 (U.S.) plus over $118,000 (U.S.) worth of Alias software packages. Second prize is worth $5,000 (U.S.) and third place is $2,500 (U.S.). There will also be a ‘Best Design’ School Award, which was initiated for the first time in 2002, given by the Canadian International Auto Show. This prize is given to the school with the body of entries that most consistently reflect the character and culture of the city where the students live. Judges for the event include automotive critics, historians, academics, design media and active production and concept car designers. "We are eager supporters of the World Automotive Design Competition which is a pivotal forum for developing the finest talents of future automotive design," says Mehlstaeuble. Judges will have the chance to view the entries when they attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan from January 4-6, 2004. The names of the winners will be kept confidential until they are announced at a press conference that begins the fourth annual Design Forum, sponsored by Alias, and hosted by the Canadian International Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, 2004 in Toronto.