Entries are now open for the Collegiate Inventors Competition

The National Inventors’ Hall of Fame and United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Collegiate Inventors Competition is open for new entries from graduate and undergraduate students until June 7. 

Each year, the competition allows the nation’s most creative college students to come together to compete while networking with world-class inventors.The competition is open for all U.S. college and university students who have invented a product, system or service.. 

According to the competition press release, “Submissions will be evaluated based on originality, completeness, adequacy as a solution, impact and coherence.”

Once the NIHF and USPTO judges have selected the finalists, they will pay for them to travel to Washington to compete in the two-day finals event and CIC Expo.

During the finals event, the contestants will have the chance to see each others’ inventions as well as to present their entries directly to the final’s judges. After the presentations, the judges will announce the winner at an awards dinner where cash prizes and USPTO Certificates of Patent Acceleration will be distributed to the winning teams.

The awarded certificate entitles the winning invention to examination ahead of its turn according to the USPTO website.

The CIC is intended to provide STEM students an opportunity to share their work on a national stage with peers and experts including previous National Inventors’ Hall of Fame inductees who offer professional-level feedback for the students’ work. 

2021’s undergraduate winner was Eva Cai’s EarFlow which distributes antibiotics through the eardrum into the middle ear with “low cytotoxicity and low risk of hearing damage” The graduate level winner, Siddarth Thakur, presented Firebot, a treaded rover for firefighters to pilot and scout burning environments for hazards and survivors. 

According to the CIC press release, “Most university design and capstone projects qualify for CIC, entries are a great way for students to make the most of their hard work. Professors and mentors are encouraged to share this opportunity with their students.”

Students who want to check their eligibility and apply to enter can do so on the NIHF website


Article by: Janzen Jorgensen
Photo courtesy of Collegiate Inventors Competition