The Nokia Bell Labs Prize is a competition for innovators from participating countries around the globe. It seeks to recognize innovations that solve the key challenges facing humanity and provides selected innovators the unique opportunity to collaborate with Nokia Bell Labs researchers to help realize their vision.
We welcome applications from innovators from participating countries around the globe. If you have a game-changing idea and are interested in developing it with leading Nokia Bell Labs researchers, you have come to the right place.
The competition is open to anyone in the participating countries who meets the eligibility requirements. The application deadline for the 2020 Bell Labs Prize is now closed. From the hundreds of applications we receive, five-seven finalists are selected to compete for three prizes in early December each year in front of a panel of renowned experts and industry leaders. During the final stage, we will assign a Bell Labs Research Partner (BLRP) to help you strengthen your proposal to maximize your chances of winning the prize. Your proposal will be judged based on a credible proof-of-concept or set of results that validate the full potential of the innovation. Here are the key dates for the competition this year.
The Eligibility Requirements
This prize is open to all eligible applicants who register and submit proposals in the general areas of information and communications technologies. Participants must meet the following criteria:
- Own their ideas
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Possess a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree
- Reside in one of the listed participating countries
Teams of up to four are allowed to participate, provided each member of the team meets the eligibility requirements. More details are available at this link.
Nokia Bell Labs awards a first prize of $100K, a second prize of $50K and a third prize of $25K. All three winners are also considered for the unique opportunity to work within the world-renowned Nokia Bell Labs to further explore their ideas, following the end of the competition.
Read more about past Nokia Bell Labs Prize winners at the blog.
The 2019 Nokia Bell Labs Prize winners are Tianshi Wang and Jaijeet Roychowdhury of UC Berkeley; Sheng Xu of UC San Diego; and Maximilian Arnold, Sebastian Cammerer, Sebastian Dörner, and Stephan ten Brink of Stuttgart University.
First place and $100,000 were awarded to PhD student Tianshi Wang and Professor Jaijeet Roychowdhury of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California at Berkeley, USA for their work on “A Classical Spin on Quantum Computing”. Their innovation is in a new type of processor element that will be significantly more efficient in computing the answers to discrete optimization problems. Their innovation will complement conventional digital processors (CPUs and GPUs) by efficiently tackling a wide range of computationally hard problems of importance in in many diverse areas, including 5G communication systems; complex tasks in planning, scheduling and control; and even the discovery of new drugs.
Second place and $50,000 went to Dr. Sheng Xu, assistant professor in the Department of Nanoengineering at University of California at San Diego for his submission, “There is plenty of room under the skin: A wearable’s perspective”. They have developed an easy-to-use ultrasonic patch that can provide noninvasive, continuous and unobtrusive monitoring of deep tissues. This innovation will impact not only the private sector, where consumers will now have access to data on their hearts, lungs, livers and GI tracts, but also healthcare systems allowing noninvasive continuous patient monitoring and ultrasonic imaging.
Third place and $25,000 were presented to Maximilian Arnold, Sebastian Cammerer, Sebastian Dörner, Stephan ten Brink of Stuttgart University, Germany for their innovative work on “Leveraging 5G Infrastructure for a Robust Positioning System”. Their indoor positioning system uses existing wireless communications networks to determine location, which will allow ubiquitous, low-cost tracking with simpler calibration of all things than existing positioning systems, and therefore has the potential to become a foundational part of the next industrial revolution.