Young inventor prize - Nominations

The Young Inventors Prize celebrates the sharpest young minds on the planet. While the EPO may host the Prize, everyone is invited to nominate an innovator whose ingenuity takes us closer to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Nominations for the 2025 Prize are open and we would be thrilled to receive your proposals by 27 September 23:59 CEST.

Let’s get technical 

Do you know a bright-spark whose sustainable solutions set them apart? We would be thrilled to learn about them! Before submitting your proposal, take a moment to review the entry requirements, eligibility criteria and formal conditions.

Eligibility rules and conditions 

The section below provides all the information you need to submit a proposal for the Young Inventors Prize. Remember to check your proposal carefully – if the details are incorrect, incomplete or do not meet the conditions below, your candidate may be eliminated from the competition.

  • The Young Inventors Prize is open to any public/published initiative, by an individual or a group of individuals worldwide with a maximum age of 30 years at the time of the Award ceremony. The initiative should clearly demonstrate how it intends to solve a problem within the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework by using a solution from any field of technology.
  • Candidates may be of any nationality - this prize is not limited to individuals with EPO Member State nationality.
  • Only public/published initiatives will be considered as this avoids the risk of unwillingly disclosing information that may impact future patent applications.
  • Each nomination must be accompanied by supporting information. Examples of supporting documents include granted patents or utility models, published scientific papers, business plans, videos or documentaries, or web articles. Please note that not all supporting documentation carries the same weight. For example, a granted patent is a clear statement of originality and potential technological impact, whereas ideas disclosed on a blog may not necessarily be so. The jury will use the hierarchy below when assessing proposals.

Before submitting a proposal, please carefully review the rules and eligibility criteria.

For further details, please refer to the Young Inventors Prize FAQ.

Selecting the Tomorrow Shapers 

Once we have received proposals from the public, our staff, patent offices worldwide or even inventors themselves, the journey begins. First, an EPO panel evaluates the proposals to ensure they meet all formal requirements and represent breakthrough solutions. 

Our panel drafts a shortlist of candidates, which is submitted to an independent jury, comprising former Young Inventors Prize and European Inventor Award finalists and winners. During a lively meeting, the jury evaluates the list and after several voting and discussion rounds, they select the Tomorrow Shapers, as well as the honourees of the three special prizes: the World Builders, Community Healers and Nature Guardians. 

We reveal the names of these outstanding Tomorrow Shapers a few weeks prior to Prize ceremony and invite the public to vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice.