Create the Future Design Contest 2016 (Grand Prize of $20,000 USD)

Create the Future Design Contest 2016 (Grand Prize of $20,000 USD)

Deadline: July 1, 2016

Entries are now being accepted for the Create the Future Design Contest 2016. Submit your best new product designs in up to seven categories for a chance to win $20,000 USD, other great prizes, and global recognition. The Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation.

The annual event has attracted more than 12,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students worldwide. The contest’s principal sponsors are COMSOL and Mouser Electronics with Analog Devices and Intel as supporting sponsors.


  • Grand Prize (1) – USD 20,000;
  • First Prize in Each Category (7): HP Z240 SFF deskside workstation computer
  • Popular Vote Prizes (10) – TBA;
  • Top 100 Entries (100) – Certificate of Achievement suitable for framing.


Choose one of seven categories for your entry:

  • Aerospace & Defense: Product innovations with applications in the aerospace, aviation, and/or defense markets;
  • Automotive/Transportation: Products that enable movement of people and goods from one place to another;
  • Consumer Products: Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling;
  • Electronics: Products that improve computing, communications, and other fields that rely on advances in electronic components, boards and systems;
  • Machinery/Automation/Robotics: Products that speed, improve, and/or automate work, manufacturing, and research & development (R&D);
  • Medical Products: Products that improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare;
  • Sustainable Technologies: Products that reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources, as well as products designed for other purposes using environmentally friendly materials or manufacturing processes.


  • The contest is open for product designs which are not yet in production or which have been introduced to the commercial market within the last 12 months;
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Employees and the immediate families of the Primary Sponsors, their parent companies, subsidiaries, representatives, and advertising/promotion agencies are not eligible and prohibited from entering;
  • The Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law;
  • Entries may be submitted by an individual or a design team. Team members may also submit entries on their own, provided those entries are substantially different than entries submitted by the team;
  • The entrant, whether an individual or a team, may submit multiple different entries to the Contest but is allowed only one entry per category;
  • By entering, entrants warrant that to the best of their knowledge: (1) their entry is an original idea; (2) they are authorized by the owner of the design to enter the design in the contest; and that (3) the design does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party;
  • The entrant or the entrant’s company, whichever applies, retains ownership of the design ideas submitted for the Contest.

See more of the Contest Rules.

Application Process

  • Register for the contest here.
  • Entries must be submitted electronically per the instructions on the entry form.
  • Provide a description of your entry (up to 500 words) in the form of a technical abstract, in English. Your description should cover how the entry works, what makes it novel, how it would be produced, and where it would be applied. You will be judged on these criteria:
    • Innovation (50% of score)
    • Manufacturability (25%)
    • Marketability (25%)
  • Upload at least one (but no more than three) visual illustrations. File type options: PDF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, EDRW. The visual illustration(s) should complement your entry description and can be drawings, photos, charts, or CAD images.
  • Video: You also have the option of submitting video to support your entry (limited to one video per entry). Maximum length: three minutes. First, upload your video to YouTube, Veoh, or Vimeo. Then, when you complete the Entry Form, provide the link to the video where indicated on the form. Video files cannot be accepted by e-mail. Video is optional and will not factor in the judging for the major prizes.
  • Prototypes: It is NOT required to have a prototype of your product. However, if a working prototype does exist, please indicate this where asked on the Entry Form. Entrants are encouraged to include an illustration of their prototype with the entry materials.

Entries submitted without an illustration automatically will be disqualified, no exceptions. PowerPoint presentations, white papers, or other documents as illustrations will not be accepted. All descriptive text should be entered in the space provided on the Entry Form. Text on illustrations should be limited to captions or call outs.

For more information, visit Design Contest 2016.