Terms & Conditions
The MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Awards is an initiative created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) publication, which for over a decade has published a yearly list of the most brilliant young innovators under 35 years of age.
The objective of this initiative is to award innovation — the development of new technologies or the creative application of already existing ones in order to resolve current problems—, ingenuity, and advances toward addressing the world’s most important challenges.
MIT Technology Review hopes to find people who are capable of materializing the fascinating, inspiring and original ideas that will revolutionize the world of technology and business in the near future. Past winners of this competition include, for example, Sergey Brin (2002), one of the founders of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg (2007), the founder of Facebook.
MIT Technology Review has brought this search for talented youth to local and regional editions in Latin America, Europe, China, India, and Southeast Asia/Oceania. In these regions each year, we find men and women under 35 who are the most promising in various technological areas.
Areas of Work
Innovators Under 35 Europe looks for young people under 35 years of age within the countries of the European Union whose accomplishments and personal qualities suggest a great potential to become highly influential through their contributions in the following areas:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Biotechnology and medicine
- Computer electronics and hardware
- Internet and web
- Nanotechnology and materials
In addition, we recognize five different categories of winners: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Visionaries, Humanitarians, and Pioneers, according to their profile as innovators. Inventors create technologies that make it possible to reimagine how things are done. Entrepreneurs see technologies as sparks of opportunity to turn innovations into disruptive businesses. Visionaries, by looking at things a bit differently from everyone else, find powerful new uses of technology. Humanitarians are using technology to tackle problems caused by poverty, war, or disability. Pioneers extend our scientific knowledge and pave the way for future technologies.
Our objective is to recognize the development of new technologies or the creative application of existing ones in order to create new services and solutions for current problems. Candidates can stand out by having developed products that are already on the market, or by carrying out advanced research and promising planning, while their idea has yet to be materialized. We hope to reward creative and original work that benefits not only certain industries but also society in general.
Profiles of Candidates
This call is open to people of all education and professional backgrounds. Candidates can come from universities, be founders of small businesses, employees in large companies or government institutions, or members of non-profit organizations.
The candidates must be under 35 years of age before December 31st of 2018. There is one exception: candidates may be women who are younger than 36 years old before that date if they have had one or more children. The dates of winner selection and all information about the awards may be accessed at our platform and social networks.
The candidates must be nationals of the European Union country they apply for and be in possession of a passport, birth certificate or National Identification Document, or a residency card for foreign nationals (please note that the latter must also provide proof that they have resided in an EU country for at least 5 years prior to application). Those candidates from Germany or Italy interested in taking part in the competition should write to firstname.lastname@example.org (for German candidates) or apply directly through the Italian edition of MIT Technology Review.
Nomination of Candidates
Candidates may apply through the online platform at the competition website or can be nominated by experts in their areas of expertise, or people in their academic or professional field. Candidates should fill out the sections of the application form which refer to their personal information, describe briefly why they are suited to receive this recognition, and finally, submit a Curriculum vitae, a Project description and two reference letters (plus the contact details of two people in their area who know their background).
During the nomination and evaluation period, the MIT Technology Review team may get in touch with nominees in order to verify information and request more details regarding their Project Description and Curriculum vitae. These documents should be maximum 2 pages each and must be written in English. The two reference letters must be uploaded to the application platform by the candidate as well, prior to the deadline that will be established by the Organization. These letters must be written in English with a maximum length of 1 to 2 pages. The two people that act as references should use them to explain why the candidate is ideal for this award and what makes his or her project innovative. It is advised that the candidate would let the references know that they could be contacted by the Organization to ask for additional information.
Characteristics of the Information
Our panel of judges will only consider the information included in the form and submitted by the candidate. The judges may request information from nominees and/or their references if it is considered necessary. The candidate must ensure that all information provided is truthful. If the organizing team finds any inconsistency in the provided information, the candidate can be disqualified.
Additionally, all candidates should renounce ownership of all materials and commercial information that comprises the documentation that they present. These can be used beyond the announcement of the winners in order to expand knowledge of the competition and the winners. The presentation of a candidate necessarily implies the accordance with these guidelines.
There will be 35 winners from the European region in the competition. There is no quota of winners from each participating country. The categories and areas of work previously mentioned will be used to organize the evaluation process and to distribute information among the judges regarding the candidates who present projects that are most linked with their specialties. There is not a predetermined number or percentage of winners for each area or category.
Additionally, some of the winners can be rewarded with an additional honorary mention if they exhibit extraordinary focus regarding social, entrepreneurial or innovative values.
MIT Technology Review relies on the assessments of a diverse committee of judges made up of experts such as technologists, inventors, directors, and entrepreneurs from the best universities and companies. The list of judges changes each year and is published along with the list of winners in the official awards page.
The members of the panel of judges will evaluate candidates based on their written description of their work, their Curriculum vitae and the letters of recommendation from their references. Additionally, following the evaluation of the general committee, MIT Technology Review can request the independent opinion of other professionals who specialize in certain areas in order to advance the selection process. The members of the jury cannot have nominated a candidate whose evaluation they will complete.
Although there is no mandatory methodology in place to evaluate the candidates, the judges have a series of considerations to guide their evaluations:
- Impact: We look for projects that can significantly change the life and work of people or the functioning of organizations; projects with a global impact and not just an impact on one area of research.
- Ingenuity: We take into account the way in which candidates confront problems and develop real solutions. We value the creativity and intrinsic imagination of entrepreneurs who are capable of observing and solving problems from a fresh perspective.
- Audacity: We look for audacious people with a history of feats, both lost and won, with a continuous spirit of perseverance.
- Current: We want to recognize innovators for the work they are doing today, not for projects they have led in the past.
- Communication abilities: We are aware that in order for ideas to be valued, they must be communicated and explained with success in order to reach funders, consumers, and the general public. Because of this, we value the capacity of a candidate to convince us that a risky idea will be brilliant.
Awards for the Winners
The MIT Innovators Under 35 Awards do not include a monetary provision for winners. They serve as recognition of the trajectory and potential of the top 35 most promising young people in the area of emerging technologies. The great value of the awards lies in the visibility and international prestige which follows when winners are recognized by MIT Technology Review as innovative leaders in the areas of work.
The names and projects of the winners will be published throughout the world as a series of articles in the MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35 edition website in the months following the presentation of candidatures.
Similarly, the young people who are awarded in each competition can present their projects before an audience specially comprised of investors, entrepreneurs, academics, technologists, and business leaders during the respective awards presentation ceremonies that will take place in 2018. In addition to the regional awards ceremonies, some of the countries included in the competitions may organize other events to showcase the winners or finalists from said countries.
Responsibilities of Winners
The winners of these awards agree to participate in activities associated with Opinno and MIT Technology Review including debates, innovator meet-ups, technology conferences, and committees of future competitions and award presentations. Similarly, they should maintain contact with the organization throughout the advancement of their projects in a periodic fashion.
The presentation of a candidacy necessarily implies the accordance with all these terms and conditions.