Global Innovation Guidelines

Global Innovation Guidelines

Global Innovation Guidelines

Who can participate in theFIRSTLEGO League Global Innovation Award?

OnlyFIRSTLEGO League teams registered for the current season are eligible. Teams must be in compliance with all currentFIRSTLEGO League rules in order to receive their regional nomination to submit their Project Innovative Solution for Award consideration. Teams must receive a regional nomination to submit;FIRSTLEGO League does not accept submissions from individual teams.Tip for Success:Focus on the Innovative Solution criteria on theProject Rubric.

When is the Global Innovation Award competition?

The competition runs annually with the currentFIRSTLEGO League season; there are two runners-up and one winner per Challenge season. The top twenty (20) Semi-Finalist teams will travel to the event in mid-late June held in the United States to participate in final judging, innovation-focused workshops and activities, and an Awards Ceremony, where the winner and two runners-up will be announced.

How does my region determine who receives the one regional nomination?

If your region is utilizing an alternate process (see below region list), then your localFIRSTLEGO League organizers will communicate how your region will determine its nominated team(s). If not, regions will nominate thetop ranked teamin the Innovative Solution Project Award category at their Championship(s). Each region receives 1-4 regional nominations to the Global Innovation Award, aligned with the volume of total teams in their region.

Can I still win another award if I receive theFIRSTLEGO League Global Innovation Award nomination?

Since this is a nomination, a team may win an award and still receive a nomination to submit their solution. You do not need to win any other awards to receive the Global Innovation Award nomination. You do not need to reach any robot performance hurdles. You simply need an innovative and stellar solution for this year’s Project.

I received my region’s Global Innovation Award nomination! Now what?

You will be required to submit (in English) a synopsis of your Project Innovative Solution by March 25, 2019. The Semi-Finalists (top 20 teams selected by the judges) will be notified in late-April 2019. These teams are required to send at least two (2) team member representatives and one (1) adult coach per five (5) team members to meet with the judges at the event in June 2019. To learn more about the Global Innovation Award criteria and how nominated teams should prepare, please read the FAQ document below.

Regions with a Variation

Most regions will nominate thetop-rankedInnovative Solution team(s) from their Championship(s). Please look for communications from your localFIRSTLEGO League Partner outlining the process your region will use if you participate in:

Adventist Robotics League


California - Central

California - Northern

Central Europe










New Mexico

New York City





South Carolina




Award Resources


Guide forFIRSTLEGO League teams interested in aspiring for the Award and especially teams who receive their regional nomination. Includes questions nominated teams will be asked when they submit.

Terms & Conditions

The legal fine print for participating.

Global Innovation Award Rubric

All regional nominees and our 20 Semi-Finalists will be evaluated by judges utilizing this tool.


The twenty (20) Semi-Finalist teams will participate in a 2-day celebratory event which will include advice and access to resources relevant to pursuing their Project Innovative Solution and building life-long innovative thinking skills, such as marketing, intellectual property, presentation literacy, and more.

The winner will receive a cash prize of USD $20,000. The two (2) runners-up will each receive a cash prize of USD $5,000. The teams must agree to use the prize money to

Get inspired! Helpful tools, tips, and inspiring reads to help you innovate.

USPTO Science of Innovation Video: What is Innovation

Read theInnovation tips blog postfrom ourFIRSTLEGO League Innovation Ambassadors.

USPTO Video: Dean Kamen talks about inventing in the National Inventors Hall of Fame during the Sixth Annual Global Innovation Award on June 22, 2016.

The MARS Discovery Districtin Ontario helped us out at the Sixth Annual Global Innovation Award. They have a wealth of information in their library on entrepreneurship that could be valuable to innovative teams thinking about making their inventions a reality, likeBusiness Model Design,How to Build a Great Pitch, and more.

A business model canvas is not required for the Global Innovation Award, but printing out and working on a canvas together with your team can help you consider implementation factors for your Innovative Solution. Here is ashort videodescribing the business model canvas as a tool.

Please see thePatent Resources pagefor basic intellectual property information and a non-legal guide for applying for a patent.