Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in submitting an exceptional product or process to the R&D 100 Awards but aren’t sure how to get started?

To help make the application process as simple as possible, we’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions below.

Please email any additional questions to

Why should I enter?

Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards program has identified and celebrated the top 100 revolutionary technologies of the past year. Submitting your product or process to be considered by our panel of expert judges could earn it a place among an amazing group of finalists and winners from the last 56 years. Past R&D 100 Awards recipients include established Fortune 500 companies and federally funded research institutions, as well as academic and government labs and smaller companies. Their leading products, technologies and services will make a difference in a wide range of industries and together represent a bright future for science and innovation in the years to come. Current and past winners share in the pride of achievement and global recognition that an R&D 100 Award offers.

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How many entries do you typically get?

While the R&D team keeps the information about the exact number of entries confidential, we can share that the number of entries is well into the hundreds and increases significantly each year.

Do labs and big companies have an advantage?

Upon first glance at our list of R&D 100 Award recipients from previous years, it might seem that federally funded research facilities and large corporations have an advantage when it comes to winning an R&D 100 Award. We're happy to share that in this case looks are deceiving—
some of our most interesting and surprising breakthrough innovations have come from smaller, newer companies that have shown the ability to innovate independently.

The R&D 100 Awards were created to level the playing field and honor the greatest inventions of the year, regardless of their origins. We ensure that the group of judges who participate come from all walks of R&D life, from small businesses and universities to major laboratories and firms. One of the most important aspects of the R&D 100 Awards is the diversity and expertise of its judges, which ensures a balanced and fair judging process. We do not allow anyone who may have a conflict of interest with any given entry to participate as a judge on that submission.

Does anyone have access to my submission materials besides the editors and the judges?

We take pride in the fact that any materials submitted with an entry to the R&D 100 Awards are for the judges’ eyes only. Any exceptions are noted on the submission form, such as short descriptions of the products and photos that may be used in R&D Magazine, website or newsletters.

Why do I have to pay an entry fee?

There are two reasons why we charge an entry fee for submissions to the R&D 100 Awards:

1. To help to ensure the integrity of the pool of entrants.

2. To cover the internal production costs of putting on such an amazing black-tie event.

Can I submit a product in multiple product categories? 

Yes. You can submit a single product in as many categories as you would like. However, it is important to note that the mission of the R&D 100 Awards is to identify and honor the top 100 new technologies of the year. Therefore, your product can only win in a single product category. However, a single entry can win in both a standard category and a Special Recognition Category.

Please also note that the entry fee applies for each award category in which a single product is entered.

I entered my product last year but did not win. Can I enter again?

Yes. You can enter your product again if it is still eligible. However, we recommend that you only opt to do so if you have made improvements to your product. If you have questions about resubmitting your product for the 2018 R&D 100 Awards, please contact the team at

How can I be sure that my submission is in line with what the judges are looking for?

Nobody knows your innovation as well as you. It is all about how you present your invention and ensuring that you have a completed submission that fits the stated guidelines for each category entered. If you have any other questions about your submission, please feel free to email us at

Who are the "principal investigators" and "development team" members? Why do you need their information?

The principal investigators should include those who led the project/product development. Think of it as synonymous with team leader/leaders. The development team should include anyone that was involved in the development of the project/product that you’d like to make sure receives recognition.

This information is for the judges use and will not be published. Team members also will not be contacted-this is purely for the use of the judges. Once your entry is recognized your team can celebrate.

What do the judges say about my entry?

We have a simple rule when it comes to the independent experts that we ask to contribute their opinions on the entries. What’s said in the R&D 100 judging room stays in the R&D 100 judging room. This is an important rule that helps ensure the impartiality and confidentiality of our awards process.

Can I win first place?

One of the things that makes the R&D 100 Awards so unique is that there is no first place winner. The R&D 100 Awards is a place where the R&D community can come together to celebrate and recognize the top 100 innovations of the past year. Winning an R&D 100 Award places you into an elite group of innovators that all share the same winner's title.

There is an additional honor that some products may receive: the R&D 100 Editor’s Choice Awards. Each year, the R&D Editors select their favorite submissions to receive the prestigious Editor’s Choice Award, which comes with a bit of additional exclusivity.

When do we find out if we won?

Finalists for the 2018 R&D 100 Awards will be announced in the October 2018 issue of R&D Magazine. However, in the spirit of keeping things exciting, the top 100 R&D 100 Award winners will not be announced until the R&D 100 Awards Gala on November 16, 2018. Please join us in November in Orlando, Florida for this special event!