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Nokia Bell Labs invites innovators to create the foundation for the next industrial revolution in the Bell Labs Prize 2020 competition

Press Release

Nokia Bell Labs invites innovators to create the foundation for the next industrial revolution in the Bell Labs Prize 2020 competition

4 March 2020

Murray Hill, N.J. – Nokia Bell Labs today launched the Bell Labs Prize 2020, which is a competition for researchers around the world with disruptive innovations that have the potential to form the foundation of the next industrial revolution and manifestly change human productivity. Prize finalists will be given access to Bell Labs resources – software, hardware, systems, platforms and a set of brilliant collaborators from a huge variety of different disciplines and perspectives – to bring their ideas to the forefront of the next industrial revolution.  

In addition, the top three finalists will receive awards of $100,000 (grand prize), $50,000 (second place) or $25,000 (third place) to help enhance their innovations. Each finalist will also be considered for opportunities to work within Nokia Bell Labs to accelerate the advancement of their innovation, following the end of the competition. Additionally, Nokia Bell Labs may offer other contest participants the opportunity to work with Bell Labs researchers and across Nokia to collaborate on research projects involving 5G technologies and other innovations.

Marcus Weldon, Nokia’s Corporate CTO and President of Nokia Bell Labs, said: “We are on the verge of an industrial revolution that will lead to unprecedented productivity gains driven by humans, machines and systems working in perfect harmony. Bell Labs researchers are defining this new future through disruptive research focused on solving the key challenges facing humanity in this next technological revolution. The Bell Labs Prize is a unique opportunity for other brilliant minds around the world to join us on this journey and be given full access to our researchers, facilities and resources so that we can collaborate on inventing the future.”

Applications to enter the Bell Labs Prize 2020 competition must be submitted by April 27, 2020. The top 50 submissions will be invited to work with Bell Labs researchers to turn their ideas into compelling proposals. The top five finalists will then be selected to compete for the top three prizes at an event to be held in December in front of a panel of renowned experts and industry leaders. Complete rules and information can be found on the prize website.

Previous year’s winners have included some of the most innovative minds and researchers at top universities around the world, including Tianshi Wang and Jaijeet Roychowdhury from the University of California at Berkeley for developing an integrated circuit that solves discrete optimization computing problems with a speed and efficiency that rival quantum computers (2019); Samory Kpotufe, assistant professor at Columbia University, for his pioneering work on the critically important field of “transfer learning” in machine learning (2018); and Kaushik Sengupta, assistant professor at Princeton University for his invention of a radical new transceiver chip technology (2017).

      ·Bell Labs Prize web page

About Nokia Bell Labs
Nokia Bell Labs is the world-renowned industrial research arm of Nokia. Over its more than 90-year history, Bell Labs has invented many of the foundational technologies that underpin information and communications networks and all digital devices and systems. This research has resulted in 9 Nobel Prizes, three Turing Awards, three Japan Prizes, a plethora of National Medals of Science and Engineering, as well as three Emmys, two Grammys and an Oscar for technical innovations. For more information, visit

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