Who can participate in the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award?
Only FIRST LEGO League teams registered for the current season are eligible. Teams must be in compliance with all current FIRST LEGO League rules in order to receive their regional nomination to submit their Project Innovative Solution for Award consideration. Teams must receive a regional nomination to submit; FIRST LEGO League no longer accepts submissions from individual teams. Tip for Success: Focus on the Innovative Solution criteria on the Project Rubric.
When is the Global Innovation Award competition?
The competition runs annually with the current FIRST LEGO League season; there are two runners-up and one winner per Challenge season. The top twenty (20) Semi-Finalist teams travel to the Washington, D.C., (United States) area in June to participate in final judging, innovation focused workshops and activities, and an Awards Ceremony, where the winner and two runners-up will be announced.
How does my region determine who receives the one regional nomination?
If your region is utilizing an alternate process (see below region list), then your local FIRST LEGO League organizers will communicate how your region will determine its nominated team(s). If not, regions will nominate the top ranked team in the Innovative Solution Project Award category at their Championship(s). Each region receives 1-3 regional nominations to the Global Innovation Award, aligned with the volume of total teams in their region.
Can I still win another award if I receive the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award nomination?
Since the nomination is not a Core Award, a team may win another Award and still receive a nomination to submit their solution. You do not need to win any other awards to receive the Global Innovation Award nomination. You do not need to reach any robot performance hurdles. You simply need an innovative and stellar solution for this year’s Project.
I received my region’s Global Innovation Award nomination! Now what?
You will be required to submit (in English) a synopsis of your Project Innovative Solution in late March of 2017. The Semi-Finalists (top 20 teams selected by the judges) will be notified in late-April 2017. These teams are required to send at least two (2) team member representatives and one (1) adult coach per five (5) team members to meet with the judges in the Washington, DC area in June 2017. To learn more about the Global Innovation Award criteria and how nominated teams should prepare, please read the FAQ document below.
The below regions will utilize an approved alternate process to determine their regional Global Innovation Award nominated team(s) for the ANIMAL ALLIESSM season. Most regions will nominate the top ranked Innovative Solution team(s) from their Championship(s). Please look for communications from your local FIRST LEGO League Partner outlining the process your region will use if you participate in:
- Central California
- Missouri - East
- New Mexico
- New York City
- Northern California
Guide for FIRST LEGO League teams interested in aspiring for the Award and especially teams who receive their regional nomination.
Terms & Conditions
The legal fine print for participating.
Global Innovation Award Rubric
All regional nominees and our 20 Semi-Finalists will be evaluated by judges utilizing this tool.
- The twenty (20) Semi-Finalist teams will participate in a 2-day celebratory event which will include advice and access to resources relevant to pursuing their Project Innovative Solution and building life-long innovative thinking skills, such as marketing, intellectual property, presentation literacy, and more.
- The winner will receive a cash prize of USD $20,000. The two (2) runners-up will each receive a cash prize of USD $5,000. The teams must agree to use the prize money to further develop the team’s invention and/or to support team activities related to FIRST programs.
- Thanks to our Partner in Innovation, LEGO Education, each team member of the three (3) Finalist teams will receive a new LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 robot set.
Get inspired! Helpful tools, tips, and inspiring reads to help you innovate.
- USPTO Science of Innovation Video: What is Innovation
- Read the Innovation tips blog post from our FIRST LEGO League Innovation Ambassadors.
- USPTO Video: Dean Kamen talks about inventing in the National Inventors Hall of Fame during the Sixth Annual Global Innovation Award on June 22, 2016.
- The MARS Discovery District in Ontario helped us out at the Sixth Annual Global Innovation Award. They have a wealth of information in their library on entrepreneurship that could be valuable to innovative teams thinking about making their inventions a reality, like Business Model Design, How to Build a Great Pitch, and more.
- A business model canvas is not required for the Global Innovation Award, but printing out and working on a canvas together with your team can help you consider implementation factors for your Innovative Solution. Here is a short video describing the business model canvas as a tool.
Please see the Patent Resources page for basic intellectual property information and a non-legal guide for applying for a patent.