Global Innovation Awards Guidelines for FIRST LEGO League Challenge Mar. 4 2021| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST LEGO League Challenge
Tags: Awards

Who can participate in Global Innovation Awards?
FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams who participate in the FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm are eligible to vie for the Global Innovation Awards in their own program advancement pathway. 

For FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams, only FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams registered for the current season are eligible. FIRST LEGO League Explore and Discover teams are not eligible. Teams must be in compliance with all current FIRST LEGO League rules in order to receive their regional/country nomination to submit their Innovation Project for Award consideration. Teams must receive a regiona/lcountry nomination to submit; LEGO League does not accept submissions from individual teams. Tip for Success: Focus on the first part of the Identify category, the Create category, and the second part of the Communicate category 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) Finalist teams will participate in the event, held late 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.  In 2021, the Global Innovation Awards will be held remotely from June 28 – 30.

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 for the Innovative Project at their Championship(s). Each region receives 1-4 regional nominations to the Global Innovation Awards, 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 this is a nomination, a team may win an award and still receive a nomination to submit their solution. You do not need to win any other awards to receive the Global Innovation Awards nomination. You do not need to reach any robot performance hurdles. You simply need an innovative and stellar solution for this year’s Innovation Project.

Regions/Countries with a Variation

Most regions will nominate the top-ranked Innovative Solution team(s) from their Championship(s). Regions/Countries with a Variation are listed below*:

  • Alaska
  • California - Northern
  • Chile
  • Colorado
  • Florida - Central
  • Florida - Northeast
  • Florida - Northwest
  • Florida - South
  • Greece
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kansas City Region
  • Kenya
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri - East
  • New Mexico
  • New York - Finger Lakes
  • New York - New York City
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nigeria
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania - Central
  • Puerto Rico
  • Québec
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Scandinavia
  • South Carolina
  • Spain
  • Tennessee - East
  • Texas
  • Turkey
  • Virginia/DC
  • Washington

*Due to the season extension of RePLAY, many regions are running a variation to accommodate their Global Innovation Awards nominees.  We make every effort to try to list them all here, however; please check with your local Program Delivery Partner if you have any questions about this process in your area. 

Award Resources

Frequently asked questions about the award.

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.

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.

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