Introduced in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized, rewarded, and encouraged hundreds of students to share their inventive ideas with the world. The Competition promotes exploration in invention, science, engineering, technology, and other creative endeavors and provides a window on the technologies from which society will benefit in the future.
Students must be enrolled (or have been enrolled) full-time in any U.S. or Canadian college or university at least part of the 12-month period prior to the date the entry is submitted. In the case of a team (maximum of four students), at least one member of the team must meet the full-time eligibility criteria. The other team members must have been enrolled on a part-time basis (at a minimum) sometime during the 24-month period prior to the date the entry is submitted.
The entry must be the original idea and work product of a student or team of students with his or her university advisor and must not have been (1) made available to the public as a commercial product or process, (2) described in extensive detail in a publication more than one year prior to the date of submission, or (3) issued a patent more than one year prior to the date of submission. On rare occasion, exceptions may be made to allow the submission of significant recent improvements to matter patented or published more than one year prior to submission of the application. The entry submitted must be written in English.
The invention, a reduced-to-practice idea or working prototype, must be the work of a student or team of students with his or her university advisor. If it is a machine, it must be operable. If it is a chemical, it must be complete with evidence of successful application of the idea. If it is a new plant, color photographs or slides must be included in the submission. If a new or original ornamental design for an article of manufacture is submitted, the entire design must be included in the application. In addition, the invention should be capable of being reproduced.
Do not send your invention. Finalists will be notified and given instructions to send any necessary documentation. A university transcript must be provided at that time to verify student status.
Each year up to 12 finalists in Graduate and Undergraduate Divisions receive an all-expenses paid trip to present their work to a panel of expert judges. The top Graduate prize is $15,000, the top Undergraduate Prize is $10,000. Other prizes will be awarded to select finalists. Academic advisors of each winning entry also receive a cash award.
The 2011 dates for the Collegiate Inventors Competition have not yet been determined.