2019 Nokia Bell Labs Prize for Innovators

Deadline: April 26, 2019.

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.



Change the way we live, work and communicate.

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

  • Web Applications
  • Cloud Services
  • Computational Sciences
  • Cryptography
  • Distributed Systems
  • Mathematics of Networks
  • Modulation Schemes
  • Network Architecture
  • Real-time Analytics
  • Security
  • Software-Defined Networks
  • Sustainability
  • Wireless Systems
  • ollaboration Systems
  • Coding Theory
  • Data Privacy
  • Fixed Network Technologies
  • Information Theory
  • Network Protocols
  • Optical Systems or Components
  • Self-optimizing Networks
  • Virtualization Technologies
  • Search Algorithms
  • RF Design
  • Inference Systems



1. They welcome applications from innovators from participating countries around the globe.

2. If you have a 10x game-changing idea and are interested in developing it with leading Bell Labs researchers, you have come to the right place.

3. You must be a citizen of one of these countries.

4. You must be aged 21 or over at the time of registration on the website.



The 3 winners may have an opportunity to work with Bell Labs, giving them the opportunity to collaborate with researchers to develop the idea and enhance its commercial viability.

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



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 10 finalists who will 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?




Bell Labs Prize

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