Royal Navy

The Armed Forces category has been established to recognise the inherently innovative activity of Sailors, Soldiers, Aircrew and Marines from around the world.

Trained to operate across the spectrum from cutting edge technology to complete technological isolation, the Armed Forces routinely develop innovative solutions generated by this novel challenge space.

This category seeks to recognise a member of the Armed Forces, or team that includes a member of the Armed Forces, who has developed an innovative concept or delivered an innovative product that has had the greatest impact in enhancing operational capability, improving conditions for Armed Forces personnel or increasing environmental sustainability of operations.

The judging panel is especially interested to receive nominations that include collaboration across governments, academia or industry.

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Entries to the IET Communications Category will be considered for innovation in all aspects of communications and communication technology.

Entries can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications

Entries are welcomed from, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Dedicated mobile applications and solutions
  • Wearable communication technology
  • Wireless and wireline networking incl. 4G and 5G developments
  • Wireless and wired communications systems from technology to applications
  • M2M, IoT, Smart Sensors
  • Fixed/mobile/converged voice and/or data communications infrastructure/network solutions
  • Fibre, fibre devices, fibre amplifiers
  • Optical transport and wide-area networks
  • Access, local area and intra-data centre networks incl. Big Data Networking and Management
  • Network, service, mobility and resource management
  • Waveguide and optoelectronic devices
  • Subsystems for optical networks
  • Point-to-point transmission systems

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The Cyber Security Award will recognise innovations that have reached the stage where its potential to mitigate risk to organisations, government and individuals in the UK has been clearly identified.

Entries can range from security research, to new products or services that help to solve today's important security challenges.

Entries are welcomed from, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Threat intelligence
  • Incident response
  • IoT
  • Social media
  • Mobile malware
  • DDoS
  • Third party attacks
  • APTs
  • The insider threat
  • Cloud computing
  • Phishing and social engineering
  • Education
  • Cyber Forensics
  • Threat detection
  • Critical infrastructure
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Entries of innovative emerging technologies are encouraged from R&D departments within industry and academia.

Recognition will be given to entries delivering tangible, pioneering and original solutions which address specific needs, offer a new value stream.

Innovations submitted to this category can be the product itself or a specific feature of the product.

The product itself may be mass-produced or custom-made.  The submitted entry must be in working, marketable condition.

Emerging technology entries are welcomed from all areas of engineering including:

  • Electronics including consumer electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing
  • Power
  • Information technology

Please note: Entries should not include a new and novel application of an established technology.
This type of entry would be applicable to the Technology Transfer category

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Entries to the IET Healthcare Technologies category are welcomed from academic, industrial, clinical, consulting and service organisations which have developed or demonstrated innovative technology in healthcare, enabling technologies or applications.

Entries can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications.  Entries are welcome from, but not limited to, the themes and topics in the following areas:

Professional healthcare

  • Administration
  • Scanning (e.g., CAT scanners) and X-rays
  • Clinical decision support
  • Clinical point of care technology
  • Electronic patient record
  • Health information technology
  • Hygiene and infection control
  • Medication management
  • Patient care and administration
  • Radiology
  • Surgical technology
  • Video and imaging


  • Connected health solutions
  • Health monitoring
  • Patient self-diagnosis devices


  • Medical and healthcare apps – smartphones
  • Medical and healthcare apps – tablet PCs and/or other mobile devices
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M)


  • Communications
  • Decision support
  • Emergency services and crisis control
  • Remote monitoring and testing
  • Telecardiology
  • Telenursing
  • Trauma care
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Entries to the Information Technology category are welcomed from research, development, demonstration or early life phases of a new idea. Entries are welcome from both commercial and academic organisations.

We want to hear about innovations that are demonstrably capable of commercial exploitation and or provide advantages for society at large.

Typically innovations will be set in a context under one or more of the following headings:

  • IT efficiency
  • Business efficiency
  • Information security is covered separately by the Cyber Security category
  • Systems management
  • Software development
  • Big data
  • Infrastructure transformation
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This category recognises excellence in the development of 'intelligent systems', the new wave of embedded and real-time systems that are typically highly connected, have massive processing power, and perform complex functions that are often safety-critical or mission-critical.

The Intelligent Systems category covers technologies that are designed to fulfil a commercial need. Entries are invited for technologies at any stage of development and should demonstrate innovation in:

  • Automating and enhancing the execution of complex and demanding tasks
  • Derive new value from connectivity, either connecting Human-Machine or Machine-Machine
  • Enabling and assuring the safe, secure and dependable operation of systems and enterprises

The judges will be particularly interested in innovations in the disciplines and competences that apply to intelligent systems, namely:

  • Systems engineering, including system architecture, real-time systems and model-based technology
  • Software engineering, from hard real-time systems to enterprise-wide critical applications (excluding Information Technology)
  • Hardware and electronics engineering, including silicon and board design
  • Safety engineering, introducing innovative safety-critical systems, or advances in the techniques and methods of demonstrating and managing safety
  • Security engineering, introducing secure embedded systems, or advances in the techniques and methods of demonstrating and managing security
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Entries to the Manufacturing Technology category are welcomed from manufacturing companies of any size, whether independently owned or as part of a larger organisation.
Entries can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications, and are welcomed from, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Innovative use of emerging technologies
  • additive manufacturing/3D printing
  • printed electronics
  • ubiquitous sensors
  • Innovative use of automation in:
    • Quality/consistency
    • Cost reduction
    • Energy efficiency
    • Reduction in pollutants
    • Flexible / Agile production
    • Market response / Customisation
    • End of life re-use
  • Innovative use of metrology and non-destructive testing
  • Innovative use of adaptive tooling and fixturing
  • Innovative applications of conventional CNC machining centres 
  • Innovative use of materials
  • Innovative integration of design and manufacturing objectives
  • Innovation within the supply chain:
    • Development of clusters
    • Shared innovation programmes with suppliers
  • IP Protection
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The Model-Based Engineering Award will recognise projects, at any stage of development, where modelling and simulation have been used in the design, implementation and test of products, especially innovative embedded systems.  

Entries are encouraged from, but not limited to, the following areas:

Modelling and Simulation

  • Creating mathematical or conceptual models
  • Using simulation for optimal design and increased performance

Testing, Verification and Validation

  • Use of modelling to rapidly design tests
  • Verification of test coverage
  • Acceleration of testing and verification processes to eliminate errors before full-scale production

Implementation and Delivery

  • The reuse of models in the implementation stage of the design process to accelerate the creation of innovative embedded software and systems
  • Use of techniques to make rapid design iterations possible
  • The use of data analytics or machine learning to improve the model or product

Entries should clearly state either:

What is innovative about the process and how it goes beyond established Model-Based design techniques?


How the use of models was instrumental to the success of the project and the resulting innovative product.

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National Grid

The Power & Energy category welcomes innovations where development has reached the stage where its potential has been clearly identified.

Entries can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications.  We welcome entries from, but not limited to the following areas:


  • Including, conventional generation, carbon, nuclear, hydro, gas, renewables

Transmission and distribution

  • HV transmission, AC and DC, operation and management, reliability, integrated systems, regional and national distribution


  • Smart meters , instrumentation, control, recording, inspection, monitoring,


  • Batteries, carbon capture, flywheel technology, effective grid storage, thermal mass

Energy Conversion

  • Motion, heat, cold, electromagnetic

Loads and Consumption

  • Availability, efficiency, cost effectiveness, power quality and improvement
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Lloyds Register Foundation

This category recognises ground-breaking solutions in Safety Tech - the application of innovative digital technology to solve human, operational and asset related safety and risk challenges.

The Safety Tech category covers technologies designed to fulfil both a safety and commercial need.  This category welcomes digital innovators at all stages of development, who demonstrate innovation in:

Safety Critical Asset Risk
  • In safety critical industries, such as power generation and chemical process industries critical equipment or critical technical systems are defined as equipment where sudden operational failure may result in hazardous conditions, or may directly cause accidents, either to workers, the environment or the general public.
  • What is considered critical equipment can vary from industry to industry.  In Shipping for instance, it can range from navigation, to supply of electrical power to essential services, to propulsion, to steering, to main engine to generators. In Oil and Gas, critical equipment can include blow out preventers, pressure vessels, high integrity pressure protection systems, pipelines and rotating equipment.

Human Safety

  • In some industries more than 85% of all accidents are caused by human error. Understanding the reasons behind this, such as fatigue and stress, is critical to improving safety
  • Automated systems provide ever-vigilant systems to detect safety issues but may not always provide interventions to mitigate or pre-empt safety critical events
  • Evidence has shown that technology can both reduce opportunities for accidents and create opportunities for new types of accident. Ironically this is often a human factors issue, because the designer and operator have different mental models
  • Technology advancements have mitigated some of this risk and removed the need for humans to enter potentially dangerous situations, such as using drones for inspection, or sensors to detect problems
  • In some industries, entering dangerous spaces is a necessity and often unavoidable. Wearable technology, for example, has helped this, augmenting and monitoring the person and reducing the risk.

Judges will be particularly interested in digital innovations that can be applicable to the above scope, namely:

  • Technologies that monitor risk, predict and prevent operational failures in safety critical equipment across industry.
  • Technologies that mitigate human error and prevent potentially dangerous situations for operational staff.
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Arrow Electronics

Entries to the IET Start-up Innovation Award are welcomed from engineering start-ups which can demonstrate that they have solved a worthwhile problem and achieved early commercial traction.

We want to hear about the problem that you have addressed the technical novelty and innovation of your solution, and how this will significantly change the world for the better.

The judges particularly want to see evidence that you have got beyond the "idea" stage and have evidence demonstrating that the rest of the world sees value in what you are doing.

Who can enter the Start-up category?

For this competition the key criteria are that the company:

  • Thinks of itself as a start-up
  • Is pursuing a business model which should be highly scalable, i.e. to grow fast
  • Is disruptive of the status-quo
  • Is still developing very rapidly - and probably its market is too
  • Is less than five years from inception
  • May or may not be profitable
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The IET Sustainability & Environmental Impact category is open to any and all innovations in fields of engineering, science and technology that demonstrate a significant contribution to sustainability or achieving a positive impact on current environmental issues and challenges.

Entries for projects, processes, products and initiatives are welcomed either from individuals, small teams or organisations (both engineers and non engineers) that are both innovative in nature and sustainable from a resource perspective.

The entry can cover an entirely new concept or the development of an existing process or product to provide a sustainable approach.

Please consider how you can demonstrate the benefits of your innovation in your entry form.

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Technology transfer is the effective use of an existing technology or process from one sector to another for us in an alternative way, delivering huge potential benefits in terms of scale, time to market and relative costs.

Entries to the IET Technology Transfer category are welcomed from all sectors and can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications.

Current examples of Technology Transfer include:

  • Retrofitting a commercial refrigerator cabinet with an aerofoil system used in Formula 1 to keep cool air inside, reducing the energy consumed by refrigerators in shops and supermarkets
  • Using electronic measurement, logging and data display systems for mammal tracking and elite sports performance measurement to assist in the safe transportation of premature babies
  • The design and manufacture of composite flywheel-based energy storage systems to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of inner city buses and other mass transit and heavy vehicles
  • Using high power energy recovery and energy storage systems for rail and power grid applications which was originally developed for Formula 1 to reduce investment and operating costs, increased CO2 savings and increased security and performance
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Entries to the IET Transport Innovation Award category will be considered for innovation in any aspect of technology innovation across the transport sector.
Entries can range from research concepts and ideas to technical issues and industrial applications, and are welcomed from, but not limited to, the following areas:

All Sectors

  • Autonomous and connected vehicles
  • Information technology
  • Energy management and control systems
  • Data management and control
  • User information systems
  • Human interaction
  • Electric vehicle technology
  • Avoidance warning/control systems
  • Navigation systems - automotive, aerospace, maritime

Automotive and Road Transport Systems

  • Cooperative systems (Vehicle-Vehicle and Vehicle-Infrastructure)
  • Vehicle-highway communication, transport flow modelling / highway management
  • Road management (data collection, route advice, diversion management, speed management, traffic management),
  • Managed/Smart motorways and similar systems
  • Toll, charging and payment systems
  • Driver support
  • Analytical tools for operators and travellers


  • Trackside and trainborne command and control systems including signalling, traction, workforce)
  • Passenger information systems (trackside and trainborne),
  • Railway information systems (supporting operators, command and control)
  • Railway safety systems
  • Station information systems
  • Operator interfaces


  • Communication systems.
  • Ship stability systems
  • Sonar systems


  • Aircraft in-flight entertainment
  • Integrated logistic support for aerospace systems
  • Pilot support systems
  • Traffic management systems
  • Hybrid and all-electric propulsion
  • Airport security and airport management systems
  • Unmanned systems (vehicle, off-board monitoring and control)
  • Collision and weather avoidance systems
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Entries to the Young Innovators Innovation Award are welcomed from anyone aged 18 to 35 (inclusive) who has designed an innovative product that can help to solve or address a real world issue that they are passionate about.

We would love to hear about what sparked your idea, the issue that you are trying to solve, the technical novelty and innovation of your solution, and how this will impact and improve the world.

The judges particularly want to see how you have gone about progressing your idea, what positive feedback you have received from relevant parties and your plans to develop a commercially viable product.

Who can enter the Young Innovators category?

For this competition the key criteria are:

  • Aged 18 – 35 (inclusive) on 5 July 2019
  • Can be working alone or as a group
  • Is pursuing the goal of a commercially viable product
  • Has already developed a commercially viable product in the last 3 years
  • Has had interest expressed from relevant companies
  • May or may not be profitable
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