Bell Labs Prize

Our annual competition to advance innovation


About the Bell Labs Prize

Each year, the Bell Labs Prize recognizes game-changing innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Geared toward innovative proposals that look to solve broader societal and humanistic challenges, the competition continues Nokia Bell Labs‘ rich tradition of finding solutions that have a transformative impact on the information and telecommunication industry.

Imagine the future and we will help you invent it with cash prizes that can help propel your idea forward. In addition, all three winners are considered for opportunities to work alongside Nokia Bell Labs researchers to further explore their ideas.

2021 competition

Asegun Henry.jpg

Asegun Henry, an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT where he directs the Atomistic Simulation & Energy (ASE) Research Group, won the 2021 Bell Labs Prize. Henry’s proposal of a low-cost energy storage technology that aims to tackle one of humanity's biggest challenges – climate change – wowed the judging panel leading to a first prize and $100,000 award. This innovation could decarbonize the energy grid and expand the electrification of transportation, potentially reducing emissions by up to 40%.

Bell Labs Prize stories

Asegun Henry.jpg

2021: Asegun Henry for his proposal of a low-cost energy storage technology that could decarbonize the energy grid.

2020 Bell Labs Prize winner Firooz Aflatouni

2020: Firooz Aflatouni for his proposal for a new type of image-recognition platform that processes raw optical data.


2019: Tianshi Wang and Professor Jaijeet Roychowdhury for their work on “A Classical Spin on Quantum Computing”


2018: Samory Kpotufe for "Teach a Machine to Draw, Ask it to Paint"


2017: Kaushik Sengupta for a radical transceiver chip technology to power a truly universal software-defined reconfigurable radio


2016: Sungwon Chung, Hossein Hashemi, and Hooman Abediasl for “Large-Scale Plasmonic Optical Phased Array”


2015: Brandon Lucia for his work on OIC: The Operating System for Intermittent Computing


2014: Emmanuel Abbe for “A Shannon Theory of Social Networks and Beyond”