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 the Learn About Patents page.
Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions.
This FAQ may be amended at any time.
Who can participate?
- Only FIRST® LEGO® League teams registered for the 2012 SENIOR SOLUTIONSSM 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
What inventions can teams submit?
- FLL teams may submit their invention created as a result of the FLL SENIOR SOLUTIONS Project, found here: http://firstlegoleague.org/currentchallenge.
- FLL will accept a wide range of inventions related to the SENIOR SOLUTIONS Project. A team may make only one (1) submission. Submissions must comply with the Terms and Conditions.
What should a team do before submitting their invention?
Protect it! 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. Once an invention is shared on this site it becomes public knowledge and the inventors could lose patent rights. Learn more about the process by visiting the Learn About Patents page.
How does a team submit an invention?
Note: Coaches may edit their submission at a later date, but voters and judges may view the team's submission on the web page any time after the coach clicks "Submit" on the form. We recommend that coaches only submit the team's completed work.
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.
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 directed 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 an invention must create a separate account for each team with a separate email address.
Prior to creating an account the coach should have the following information about the team’s invention ready and available:
- Name of Invention* (16 character limit)
- Full Invention Name
- Team Name*
- Team Number
- Team Location*
- Team Website
- Brief description of your FLL team* (1000 characters or less)
- This description will be public. Do not include any personally identifiable information about children under 18 years old.
- Team Image* (photo or team logo)
- Do not post any photo that includes the face of any person under age 18.
- 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.
- Independent (helps seniors continue to live in the way they choose with little or no help)
- Engaged (helps seniors remain involved with the activities they love and the communities where they live)
- Connected (helps seniors stay in contact with family, friends, caregivers, and others)
- Brief description of your team’s invention* (1000 characters or less)
- This description will be public.
- Detailed description of how your invention works* (2000 characters or less)
- This description will only be seen by the judges, Edison Nation and AARP (see below).
- 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 the judges Edison Nation and AARP (see below).
- 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 (1) one page (size - 8.5” x 11”) 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.*
- Agree to send at least two (2) student representatives and one (1) adult coach to an Awards Ceremony in Alexandria, VA, USA on June 18, 2013 if selected as a finalist team.*
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FLL Global Innovation Award.*
How many inventions may a team submit?
One (1). A team may make only one (1) submission.
What are the prizes?
The three (3) finalist teams will be honored at an awards ceremony at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA, USA on June 18, 2013. Finalist teams will be required to send at least two (2) student representatives and one (1) adult coach to the awards ceremony. Finalist teams will also be required to submit a video about their invention. Further details will be provided to the finalists.
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 further develop the team’s invention and/or to support team activities related to FIRST programs.
Edison Nation will allow the ten (10) best submissions (as selected by the panel of experts appointed by FIRST, see below) FREE submission into Edison Nation’s online platform for the team’s idea, where it will undergo Edison Nation’s submission review process. This includes competitive landscape, initial IP review as well as considerations to development, materials, and analysis of cost/value relationship. Additionally, these ten (10) teams will participate in a Q+A session with Edison Nation via email/questionnaire, with the Q+A results published in Inventors Digest.
Additionally, AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, will, on terms to be determined by AARP, select one submission and invite the submitting team to present their innovative solution at the AARP National Event & Expo: Life@50 in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 31 - June 1, 2013. AARP will pay up to $5,000 travel expense reimbursement (total) for up to ten (10) team members and two (2) coaches.
Edison Nation and AARP (not FIRST) are responsible for the awards offered by them.
Any taxes required by national, state, provincial or local authorities for any prizes listed above are the responsibility of the prize winners.
How will the winners be determined?
The top ten (10) vote getters and ten (10) submissions selected by a panel of experts appointed by FIRST will be judged by a panel of judges appointed by FIRST, who will select the three (3) finalists, including the winner and two (2) runners-up. Judging will be based on:
- Solution clearly results from the current FLL Challenge
- Efficiency: Simplicity/cost-effectiveness
- Public benefit
- Commercial viability
Note: Online voting may assist the judges in their selections, but online voting will not determine the winning team or runners-up. See below.
When does submission period begin and end?
Teams may begin entering submissions on January 17, 2013 at 12:00pm ET. Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2013 at 12:00pm ET.
When does public voting begin and end?
Public voting will begin on February 11, 2013 at 12:00pm ET and end on March 1, 2013 at 12:00pm ET.
When will the winners be notified?
The three (3) finalist teams will be contacted by phone in early April. Public announcement of the finalists will be made after all three (3) finalist teams are notified. The one (1) winning team and two (2) runners-up will be named at the awards ceremony on June 18, 2013.
AARP will notify the team receiving the AARP prize by April 5, 2013. If selected but unable to attend the AARP National Event & Expo: Life@50 in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 31 - June 1, 2013, AARP will select a runner up team.
How do you vote for a submission? Who can vote? How often can you vote?
Anyone can vote! Online vote totals will show popularity of an invention, but they are not the only factor that will determine the finalists or winners. See “How will the winners be determined?” above for further details.
Click on a team invention either through the “Search for Teams” page located in the main menu or through the “Leader Board” on the left side of the screen. Click on the “Vote” button on the bottom of the invention page, and then answer the CAPTCHA question to record your vote for that invention.
Voting is unlimited. You may vote for as many inventions as you would like, and vote as many times as you like each day.
Please make sure that all teams and supporters are being "gracious professionals" by respecting the other teams and using fair voting practices (i.e. automated voting bots are NOT allowed) during the submission/voting process. It is important that all teams involved in the FLL Global Innovation Award continue to maintain the integrity of the FLL program. If a team is found using unfair voting practices their submission may be disqualified from the award.
Note: In order to protect the integrity of the voting process each person must answer a CAPTCHA question in order to cast a vote. If you do not understand the question, simply refresh the webpage to receive a different CAPTCHA.
Note: If your team is logged into the system you will NOT be able to vote. Voting only occurs when the team is logged out.
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. Vote early and often!
Please make sure your team and supporters are being "gracious professionals" by respecting the other teams and using fair voting practices (i.e. automated voting bots are NOT allowed) during the submission/voting process. It is important that all teams involved in the FLL Global Innovation Award continue to maintain the integrity of the FLL program. If a team is found using unfair voting practices their submission may be disqualified from the award.
Does our 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.
FIRST may amend this FAQ at any time.