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Deadline: April 20, 2016 | Apply here
[Oops, the opportunity has already expired. Sign up to AlphaGamma weekly newsletters to stay ahead of the game]
Date: 
December 7, 2016
Eligibility: 
21 years old
Prize: 
$100,000

Win the 2016 Bell Labs Prize

The Bell Labs Prize is a competition for innovators from participating countries around the globe that seeks to recognize proposals that ‘change the game’ in the field of information and communications technologies by a factor of 10, and provides selected innovators the unique opportunity to collaborate with Bell Labs researchers to help realize their vision.

Bell Labs is looking for game-changing and impactful ideas that have the potential to change the way we live, work and communicate with each other.

Eligibility:
Bell Labs is welcoming applications from innovators from around the globe. You must be a citizen of one of the countries listed in the registration form. You must be aged 21 or over at the time of registration on the website. Eligibility requires residence in one of the following countries: United States. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada except Quebec, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Province of China, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Stage One

In Stage One, you will be requested to formulate an idea (max 250 words) related to the field of information and communications technologies. You will have the option to attach 3 pages of text and/or images to illustrate your concept. In the submission form we have outlined an indicative list of categories related to communications technologies. Please select the one that best matches your idea. The list is not restrictive and you are free to indicate a different category.

Categories: Web Applications, Cloud Services, Information Theory, Coding Theory, Computational Sciences, Cryptography, Distributed Systems, Data Privacy, Mathematics of Networks, Modulation Schemes, Optical Systems or Components, Communications Systems, Network Protocols, Security, Network Architecture, RF design, Sustainability, Wireless, Fixed Network technologies, Software-Defined Networks, Virtualization Technologies, Real-time Analytics, Search algorithms, Self-Optimizing Networks, Inference systems.

Stage Two

Finalists from Stage 1 will be assigned a Bell Labs researcher as a Partner (BLRP) to help them strengthen their idea and turn it into a robust proposal. Your BLRP will help you develop each element of your idea – from your vision until initial thoughts on implementation through to description of context, risks and impact. The objective is to have a strong and complete proposal that selected finalists can present in person to the Bell Labs Judging Panel.

Evaluation Criteria

Ideas will be evaluated by Bell Labs researchers based on the following 3 criteria:

  • 10x Innovation Potential – How is your proposal novel – what has not been done before, what is the “out of the box” thinking that could result in a 10x change in performance (e.g., speed/throughput, distance, latency, cost, energy efficiency or simplicity)?
  • Technical Merit – How technically sound is your proposal? On what current principles and capabilities does it depend versus further/future advancements and innovations?
  • Feasibility – Can a proof of concept, simulation or demonstration be built in the course of the competition? What is required to do so? In order to build a commercially viable (revenue and profit-generating) solution, what more would be required?

The finalists who present to the Judging Panel will also be evaluated on a 4th criterion, which focuses on the commercial value proposition:

  • Business Impact – What is the magnitude of the new ICT-related business created by the proposal? How soon could it be brought to market and how differentiated/unique is the proposition?

Prizes:
The Prize is both a highly prestigious innovation award and a means to collaborate with the world-renowned Bell Labs. By taking part in the competition, you will gain visibility to a high-profile audience of researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, media and partners.  You will also receive support from Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs, one of the most advanced telecommunications companies and industrial research organizations in the world. The three winners may be given the opportunity to collaborate with Bell Labs to see their research project to fruition, when possible.

  • First prize: $100K
  • Second prize: $50K
  • Third prize: $25K

Winners will be announced at the Bell Labs prize awards event on or about December 7, 2016. Selected participants may have an opportunity to work with Bell Labs, giving them the opportunity to collaborate with researchers to further develop the idea and enhance its commercial viability.

Before entering the competition please read the Terms and Conditions here.

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