Illinois Innovation Prize

2015 Illinois Innovation Prize Finalists are announced: http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/10994

The Illinois Innovation Prize, administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, is awarded on an annual basis to the most innovative student on campus.This year, TEC will reward and recognize the most innovative student on campus with $20,000 on Friday, April 24th at 2PM at the Entrepreneurship Forum.

Awarding outstanding innovation

This student is:

  • a passionate innovator
  • working with world changing technology
  • entrepreneurially minded
  • a role model for others

Students must be nominated by a faculty member, mentor, advisor or the like. Students cannot nominate themselves or other students. 

NOMINATIONS FOR 2015 are now closed! Check back for updates.

Nominate

All current students are eligible to be nominated for the award regardless of college, department or major. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which the award will be presented.

This nominee is:

  • a passionate innovator
  • working with world changing technology
  • entrepreneurially minded
  • a role model for others

Students must be nominated by a faculty member, mentor, advisor or the like. Students cannot nominate themselves or other students.

FAQ's

Must the award money be used for research?
No, it's an unrestricted cash gift.

Do I have to be in the College of Engineering to apply?
No. We accept applications from any senior or graduate student on campus regardless of major or college. Winning applications are not based on your major but are based on the innovation and inventiveness you present in your application.

Who is eligible to apply?
All students are eligible to compete. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which the award will be presented.

When is the deadline?
TBD

Am I required to have a patent?
No.

Do I forfeit my intellectual property rights by submitting an application?
Generally, no. We use only titles and short descriptions of inventions for public relations purposes. Additionally, the judging panel will be asked to keep in mind that student applications are distributed solely for the purpose of evaluation for the Lemelson Illinois Student Prize and should not be reproduced for other purposes.
However, please be aware that you will be barred from obtaining patent protection, if the patent application is filed more than one year after a "publication" that may permit a person reasonably skilled in the field to make the invention based upon your application. In addition, you will be barred from obtaining patent protection in foreign countries.

Please consult the Illinois policies relating to intellectual property, the Office of Technology Management, and the USPTO to ensure protection of your intellectual property.


Who are the judges?
The judges' panel is comprised of Illinois alumni and entrepreneurs as well as faculty members representing diverse areas of expertise across several colleges and departments.

Previous Winners and Finalists

The Illinois Innovation Prize, administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, is awarded on an annual basis to an innovative student passionate about solving grand challenges and striving to be entrepreneurial.

2014 Winner - Canan Dagdeviren

Canan Dagdeviren, a PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering won the 2014 Illinois Innovation Prize for her research in applications of piezoelectric materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronics with an emphasis on bio-integrated systems, such as bio-sensors, actuators, transducers, and mechanical energy harvestors in flexible/strechtable forms.

2014 Finalists

Analisa Russo, Paul Froeter, Adam Tilton, Peter Fiflis, James Pikul

2013 Winner - Eduardo Torrealba

Eduardo Torrealba, a graduate student in Mechanical Science and Engineering, created his company Oso Technologies after a simple search to keep household plants alive. His first product, Plant Link, monitors the moisture needs of specific plants and can deliver water on an as needed basis using smart valves.

2013 Finalists

Eleni AntoniadouBrett JonesMichael McCartyArnab MukherjeeLucas SmithRajinder SodhiBrett Walker

2012 Winner - Kevin Karsch

Karsch, a doctoral student in computer science, has helped develop a technique for inserting objects and special effects into photos and videos without taking physical measurements of the scene. The technique can be performed by novices in a few minutes.

2012 Finalists

Sriram ChandrasekaranJames LangerPradeep S. ShenoyMuhammed Fazeel

2011 Winner - Scott Daigle

Scott is currently working on IntelliWheels, a new product that replaces manual wheelchair wheels and adds automatic gear shifting to reduce the amount of effort required to push the chair.

2011 Finalists

Zeba ParkarColin Lake

2010 Winner - Jonathan Naber

Guided by his passion for helping those less fortunate, Jonathan has developed an affordable prosthetic arm for people in underdeveloped countries with the help of his team, Illini Prosthetic Technologies. Putting aside his initial focus to make a state-of-the-art prosthetic arm with electronic components, Jonathan has created an arm from off the shelf materials that is extremely functional, durable and easily manufactured.

2010 Finalists

Kira BartonStephen DieboldScott Daigle

2009 Winner - John Wright

John has developed new mathematical tools that drastically improve the accuracy of facial recognition systems such as those used at Boston’s Logan airport, the 2001 Superbowl, and by the Tampa, Florida police department.

2009 Finalists

Martin PageJang-Ung ParkRobert ShepherdAdam SteeleMurali VenkatesanBen BlaiszikHan Wui

2008 Winner - Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is working towards changing the way 1.6 billion people light their homes. Patrick’s solar-powered LED lamps are a brighter, healthier, longer-lasting, and less expensive lighting option for people with unreliable electricity.

2008 Finalists

Chris FieldYun FuShravan GaonkarStephen Diebold

2007 Winner - Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan hopes to assist individuals without the use of speech and mobility to communicate through the application of neuroscience.

2007 Finalists