Frequently Asked Questions

Participants in the R&D 100 have many questions. We totally understand! If you are submitting for the first time, the process can seem daunting, but t's not as complicated as it seems. Check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.

Have a question that isn't listed?  Feel free to send the R&D team an email at

Why should I enter?
As one of the highest honors in the world of Research and Development, the prestige that comes along with winning or being a finalist for an R&D 100 award speaks for itself. Entering the R&D 100 is sure to give your product a boost and earn it a place among an amazing group of finalists and winners from the last 55 years. The application process is simple, and worth the effort - your product or concept just might be the next big thing!

How to Enter Page

How many entries do you typically get?
While we here on the R&D team keep the information about the exact number of entries under lock and key, we can share that the number of entries is well over 100 and increases significantly each year. 

Do labs and big companies have an advantage?
Upon first glance at our list of winners 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 hail from all walks of research 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 of the 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. 

Does anyone have access to my submission materials besides the editors and the judges?
We take pride in the fact that we ensure 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 the 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, and 
2. to cover the internal production costs of putting on such an amazing 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 in again. 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 2017 R&D 100 Awards, please contact the editorial 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 are looking for some pointers, check out our “Guide to Winning an R&D 100 Award”. 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 purely 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.

What do the judges say about my entry?
We have a simple rule when it comes to the independent experts that we ask contribute their opinions on our 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 2016. Just like winning an Oscar, winning and 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 three of their favorite submissions to surprise with the Editor’s Choice Award, which comes with a bit of additional exclusivity. 

When do we find out if we won?
Finalists for the 2017 R&D 100 Awards will be announced in or around July 2017.  However, in the spirit of keeping things exciting, the winners will not be announced until the R&D 100 Awards Dinner on Friday November 17. The only way to know for sure if you won is to join us in November! 


2018 Submissions are Open!