FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About FLL Global Innovation Award

Protect your inventions before submitting! We strongly encourage all teams to file for patent protection, such as filing a provisional application for patent (provisional application) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or filing a patent application in the team’s home country, before submitting an invention on the FLL Global Innovation Award website. Learn more by visiting What's a Patent?

FIRST may amend this FAQ at any time.

  • What is the FLL Global Innovation Award?
    • The FLL Global Innovation Award is a competition designed to celebrate the real-world, innovative solutions that FLL teams create as a result of their Project. Any registered FLL team can enter. It’s completely voluntary, and not part of the FLL season.
  • When is the competition?
    • The competition runs from January 17, 2014 at 12:00pm noon ET to February 18, 2014 12:00pm noon ET.
  • When can we upload our team submission?
    • Teams may begin uploading their submissions on November 19, 2013. Please note: submissions will NOT be made public until January 17, 2014.
  • Who can participate?
    • Only FIRST LEGO League teams registered for the 2013 NATURE’S FURY season may submit inventions. Teams must be in compliance with all current FLL rules in order to be considered for the FLL Global Innovation Award.
    • Only the team’s adult coach (over 18 years of age) may submit the team’s submission on http://fllinnovation.firstlegoleague.org
  • How does my team enter?
  • What inventions can teams submit?
    • FLL teams may submit their invention created as a result of the NATURE’S FURY Project, found here: http://firstlegoleague.org/currentchallenge.
    • FLL will accept a wide range of inventions related to the NATURE’S FURY Project. A team may make only one (1) submission. Submissions must comply with the Terms and Conditions.
  • Do I “win” a patent?
    • No. No one can “win” a patent.
  • Do I have to have a patent to enter the competition?
    • No, but we strongly encourage your team to file an application for a provisional patent for your invention in your home country. Your invention will be made public on the website during the competition, and your team should make every effort to protect your idea! Learn more by visiting the Learn About Patents page.
  • Do I have to attend a tournament or win an award at a tournament?
    • No. You only have to be an FLL team registered for the current season.
  • How many inventions may a team submit?
    • One (1). A team may make only one (1) submission.
  • Is it a popularity contest?
    • Not at all! In the past, we allowed online voting to encourage people to see the innovative ideas teams created. This year, we will ask teams to use their social networks to encourage people to visit the Global Innovation Award website to participate in a very special humanitarian initiative. Details to come!
  • Who judges our submissions? Is it fair?
    • We ask experts in science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing to judge submissions. We also ask subject matter experts that relate to the Challenge theme to judge. Every submission is reviewed. No personal information that would cause bias is ever given to the judges (team name, ages, gender, or location).
  • When will we find out who the finalists are?
    • Finalists will be announced in April 2014.
  • When will the winner be announced?
    • The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA on June 3, 2014.
  • Will there be online voting this year?
    • No.
  • How will the winners be determined?
    • Judging will be based on:
      • Solution clearly results from the current FLL Challenge
      • Feasibility
      • Originality/Creativity
      • Efficiency: Simplicity/cost-effectiveness
      • Public benefit
      • Commercial viability
  • How can a team promote their invention?
    • Any way you want! Post a link on a team blog, tweet about it, and spread the word among your social network. Get family and friends involved. Tell them where/how to find your submission on the site.
  • Does a team’s participation in this competition affect other aspects of FLL?
    • No. The FLL Global Innovation Award is optional and in no way affects the judging outcome of official FLL Qualifiers or Championships. FLL does not set judging rules for Community or Unofficial Events.
  • How does a team submit an invention?
    • Returning coaches can login to the site using the email address and password from last season. If you forgot your password click on the “Forgot your Password?” link and you will be directed to reset it.

New Users

    • Click on the “Create account to Submit Team Idea” link in the left sidebar. Fill in required information and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Once the “Create New Account” button is clicked, an email will be sent to the coach to confirm the account and create a password. The coach will then be directd to a form to enter the team’s invention.
    • Only the adult coach (over 18 years of age) may submit the team’s submission. Coaches who represent more than one (1) team wishing to submit inventions for different teams must create a separate account for each team using a separate email address.
    • Prior to creating an account the coach should have the following information about the team’s invention ready and available:

Required*

  • Name of Invention*
  • Team Name*
  • Team Number
  • Team Location*
  • FLL Region Participated in*
  • Team Website
  • Basic Demographic Information about your Team (# of students, # of coaches, gender distribution, ages of students)*
  • Brief description of your FLL team * (1000 characters or less)
    • This description will be public starting January 17, 2014. Do not include any personal identifiable information about children under 18 years old.
  • Team image* (photo or team logo)
    • Due to FIRST’s compliance with youth protection, we cannot allow a photo that includes the face of any person under the age of 18. Alternatively, you may choose a generic avatar provided by FIRST.
    • Files must be uploaded in .jpg or .png format
    • Files must be less than 20 MB.
  • Invention Category. Please choose the category that best describes the team’s invention.*
    • Prepare (helps people before a natural disaster occurs)
    • Stay Safe (helps people during a natural disaster)
    • Rebuild (helps people after a natural disaster)
  • Brief description of your team’s invention* (1000 characters or less)
    • This description will be public as of January 17, 2014.
    • Detailed description of how your invention works* (2000 characters or less)
    • This description will only be seen by judges and Edison Nation.
  • How does your team’s invention differ from other existing solutions on the market (2000 characters or less)?*
    • This description will only be seen by judges and Edison Nation.
  • If applicable, upload supporting diagrams/drawings that your team would like the judges to consider. Please submit no more than one (1) page of supporting images. The document may include references to your detailed description or competitive differentiators, but should NOT include text descriptions.
    • Uploads over one (1) page (size 8.5” x11”) will not be considered.
    • Documents must be uploaded in .txt, .jpg, or .pdf format.
  • Additionally, coaches must:
    • Verify that all of the team members who worked on this invention were between the ages of 9 and 16 (9 to 14 in the US/CAN/MEX) for the current season.*
    • Verify that no more than ten (10) team members worked on the invention. *
    • Agree to send at least two (2) student representatives and one (1) adult coach to an Awards Ceremony in Alexandria, VA, USA on June 3, 2014 if selected as a finalist team.*
    • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FLL Global Innovation Award.*