Our future is in the hands of the next generation

Tenders and financial rewards for innovators

15. 09. 2022.

Talent, diligence, uniqueness. There are many professional recognitions in the scientific sphere that duly recognize creative ideas, yet we know of few awards where innovative solutions are (also) honored with monetary rewards.

Today's inventors, researchers and professionals face many challenges: expensive technologies, lack of resources and limited experimental capacities. That's why we have put together some alternatives in the form of a summary article that explores awards and competitions which can provide incentives for ambitious inventors. This is eNET's short prize map.

László Fekete Award — Challenge and creation, or “The person behind the innovation”

László Fekete's memory will be kept for future generations by the award of the HTE (Hírközlési Tudományos Társaság - Scientific Society for Telecommunications).  As a former member of the Hungarian telecom and IT leadership community, he tirelessly pursued innovative solutions with a keen sense of innovation. He combined development with added value, user satisfaction and financial results.

The person who has brought a professional innovation through their product and/or service in the innovation segment will be awarded the László Fekete Prize (named after him), by the prominent representatives of the HTE and the ICT segment for the third time. The ars poetic of the HTE Prize is to support the professionals of the future – after all, the future is in their hands!

The central message of the award is "The person behind innovation". The HTE Award is always given to someone whose personality and ambition fits in well with the image that the organizers have created in memory and honour of László Fekete. "The focus of the evaluation criteria is not on the object, but on the subject of the innovation, the human being, the innovator," said István Maradi, head of the jury. "We are not evaluating the product or the service, but the person, his or her approach to innovation and whether he or she can be a role model, a model to be followed, just like Laci Fekete was."

The prize is open to people who have been involved in the conceptualization or creation of an ICT development and have launched the advancement on the marketPrevious years’ winners have made a lasting impact: in 2020, Gergő Nagy, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of EvoAid, was named Innovator of the Year, and last year, Gábor Soós (Hungarian Telekom) recognized the industrial meaning of small but reliable mobile networks.

This year’s professional recognition will be accompanied by an impressive cash prize of HUF 1 000 000 for the most outstanding innovator. The deadline for applications is midnight 1 October 2022, and the full call for entries is available on the website.

Prima Primissima Award — Example and value for the society

"The desire for recognition has been instinctive in man since ancient times. It's what drives us to do more and better, to stand out from the crowd" - that's what the Prima Primissima Prize is all about. Sándor Csányi, Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, emphasized that "to be among the leaders in science, culture, sport and the arts is only possible for those whose determination is matched by talent". 

Founded in 2003 by Sándor Demján with the support of the VOSZ (Vállalkozók Országos Szövetsége - National Federation of Entrepreneurs, the HUF 15 million prize is awarded in ten categories to outstanding representatives of Hungarian intellectual life, art, science and sport. From 2013, it is maintained and financed by OTP Bank. 

Vodafone Digital Award — Digitalization and practicality in focus

This year, the Vodafone Digital Award, Vodafone Hungary Foundation's Innovation Competition, has been held for the fourth time. Out of the 118 applications received, the jury awarded 10 outstanding applications from a digital and social point of view.

The prize, first announced in 2018, has a total value of HUF 15 million. Its aim is to create programmes that support digitalization and provide practical help in our daily lives.  Previously, winners were announced in three categories: Digital Society, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, and Digital Equality. In 2022, a Special Incubation Prize was also awarded, based on the unanimous opinion of the professional and social jury. The award is open to individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

EIT Innovators Awards — A role model for change

The European Leadership of the Year Awards were presented for the first time in 2018 at the European Business Summit, recognizing outstanding achievements in business, politics, entrepreneurship and innovation. Each year, the winners of the competition are rewarded with a substantial amount of money: €50,000, €20,000 and €10,000.

It is interesting that the very first winner of the Innovator of the Year Award was Krisztián Imre, the founding-managing director of EVA Vision in Brussels. His outstanding invention is a pair of glasses that help the mobility of the visually impaired people.

Nobel Prize — Professional recognition since 1901

Perhaps the World’s best-known professional recognition is named after Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and inventor. In 1895, before his death, he decreed that the best of the best in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine and literature should receive an annual share of the interest on his fortune. And to the person who, through their efforts for peace, deserves the prize – and the roughly HUF 352 million (latest figure 2021/2022) that goes with it. The annual Outstanding Professional Achievement Award is highly publicised each year.

Nobel did not intend the prize to recognize a particular scientific career or life’s work: his will states that it can be awarded for a specific achievement. The medal can be awarded to organisations as well as individuals.

Author of the article: Dorka Vass