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Nokia Bell Labs opens competition for ideas with power to disrupt future of human experience by 10 fold

Press Release

  • 2016 Nokia Bell Labs Prize competition to reward game-changing ideas that have the power to disrupt the future of communications, collaboration, content, contextual search and knowledge creation
  • Global researchers compete for cash prizes up to $175,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with renowned Nokia Bell Labs researchers to develop their ideas
  • Third year of annual competition continues Nokia Bell Labs' rich tradition of solving the great challenges facing the information and telecommunications industry to profoundly enhance the human experience

30 March, 2016

Espoo, Finland - Nokia Bell Labs today opened the global competition for the third annual Nokia Bell Labs Prize, which recognizes game-changing ideas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the potential to disrupt or profoundly change the human existence and experience.

Nokia Bell Labs is particularly interested in proposals focused on the challenges addressed in its book, The Future X Network, which provides a blueprint for an architecture that will form the digital fabric of the future. Innovative proposals with the power to advance communications 10x are solicited to enable a future where hundreds of billions of devices are connected and applications and new knowledge creation platforms can intelligently augment human capabilities - the "Automation of Everything" (AoE).

The Nokia Bell Labs Prize is open to researchers in participating countries around the globe. The deadline to enter the contest is April 20, 2016. Prizes up to $175,000 will be awarded to first, second and third place winners. Winning researchers will also be rewarded with an opportunity to collaborate with renowned Nokia Bell Labs researchers on the development of their ideas.

The competition continues Nokia Bell Labs' rich tradition of finding solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the information and telecommunications industry. Nearly 700 applicants have submitted ideas to the Nokia Bell Labs Prize competition since its creation in 2014. Previous finalists have come from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Korea Spain, Turkey and the U.S. They include grand prize winners offering solutions enabling a better Internet of Things (IoT) and new ways to simplify Big Data to extract actionable information and knowledge.

  • In 2015, Brandon Lucia, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, presented a new way for developers to bring their communications and sensing applications into environments with scarce energy, such as living organisms, infrastructure without access to power, or even in deep space. Unlike traditional machines with tethered power or batteries, these outage-tolerant systems can compute intermittently and even scavenge their surroundings for energy.
  • In 2014, Emmanuel Abbe, assistant professor at Princeton University, proposed new algorithms and methods for extracting actionable information from Big Data.  In doing so, he was able to apply the information theory limit developed by Bell Labs pioneer Claude Shannon to make practical, fast computations on massive social and complex graph-based networks.

Marcus Weldon, president Nokia Bell Labs & CTO, said: "The Nokia Bell Labs Prize is unique in bringing global researchers and the Nokia Bell Labs community together in a collaborative way, solving some of the formidable technical challenges of the next technological revolution driven by the creation of a new digital network fabric that will enable the connection, communication, collaboration, control and contextual search of everything, everywhere.  We know from past competitions and our rich history that innovation can come from surprising places, and when we bring diverse minds together we often find unique and inspired answers. We are looking forward to another year of provocation and disruptive thinking and collaboration to invent the future."


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