Have you ever wondered if one of your ideas could change humanity? That’s exactly what we are looking for in this year’s 14 candidates for the Nokia Bell Labs Prize. This is the fifth year of the global competition which seeks disruptive innovative proposals that address the grand human challenges that drive and will underpin the fourth industrial revolution, and enable an enhanced ability to sense, control and automate everything. Prizes up to $175,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners, who will also be rewarded with an opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned Nokia Bell Labs researchers and interact with a luminary judging panel.
The competition continues to heat up as we welcomed the 2018 candidates to our Murray Hill, New Jersey headquarters for the global innovation workshops, called Innovathons. Besides the opportunity to network, the Innovathons provide candidates with a chance to visit a Nokia Bell Labs facility and meet fellow researchers and the leadership team. During the 2-day workshops, candidates made an initial 5-minute pitch to Bell Labs leadership to help focus the proposals to have greater impact.
Watch our video to learn more about this year’s Innovathon:
Last year’s winner, Kaushik Sengupta, Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, won first prize and $100,000 for his invention of a radical new transceiver chip technology that could power a truly universal software-defined reconfigurable radio. Recently, we had the opportunity to catch up with Sengupta and the other second prize winners Tse Nga (Tina) Ng, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California at San Diego, and Jason Azoulay, Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Southern Mississippi and Colm O’Dwyer, Physical Chemistry Professor at University College Cork, Ireland to learn more about their innovations.
Listen to our Future Human podcast with the 2017 Bell Labs Prize winners:
The Prize is both a highly prestigious innovation award and a means to collaborate with the world-renowned Nokia Bell Labs. Although only three can win cash prizes, those surviving the first-round gain visibility with a high-profile audience of researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, media and partners. A few may also see their innovation come to fruition, contributing to changing our lives for the better.
If you are interested in following this year’s Prize or entering the 2019 Bell Labs Prize competition with an idea of your own, you can visit our web site, where you can learn more about the Prize and apply next year.