Contest History
Previous Winners
Press & Blogs



Contest History

The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has attracted more than 12,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students worldwide. The contest's principal sponsors are COMSOL and Mouser Electronics with Analog Devices and Intel as supporting sponsors.

Category sponsors include Imagineering Inc., Maplesoft, and Qosina.

The contest is produced by Tech Briefs Media Group.


Primary Sponsors

COMSOL is a global provider of simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities. Its COMSOL Multiphysics® product is an integrated software environment for creating physics-based models and simulation apps. A particular strength is its ability to account for coupled or multiphysics phenomena. Add-on products expand the simulation platform for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical applications. Interfacing tools enable the integration of COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations with all major technical computing and CAD tools on the CAE market. Simulation experts rely on the COMSOL Server™ product to deploy apps to their design teams, manufacturing departments, test laboratories, and customers throughout the world. Founded in 1986, COMSOL employs more than 460 people in 22 offices worldwide and extends its reach with a network of distributors. For more information, visit

Mouser Electronics, a subsidiary of TTI, Inc., is part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Mouser is an award-winning, authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor, focused on the rapid introduction of new products and technologies to electronic design engineers and buyers. features more than 4 million products online from more than 600 manufacturers. Mouser publishes multiple catalogs per year providing designers with up-to-date data on the components now available for the next generation of electronic devices. Mouser ships globally to over 500,000 customers in 170 countries from its 750,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility south of Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit


Supporting Sponsors

Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices (ADI) has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Intel is the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors and has established a heritage of innovation that continues to expand the reach and promise of computing while advancing the ways people work and live worldwide. Intel's entire processor portfolio provides design engineers with direct access to the industry's most advanced processors. Intel's industry-leading technologies are created using the most advanced foundry process technologies in the industry, producing unprecedented levels of performance and efficiency.

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) is the formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace.

Through American taxpayers’ investment in our federal laboratories’ research and development (R&D) efforts, scientific and technological breakthroughs can take place and return dividends to our economy. The new industries, businesses, and jobs that can be created when a new technology is brought to market are just a few of the successes that take effect through technology transfer (T2), and the FLC is here to promote, facilitate, and educate labs and industry about that process.

The FLC’s mission is to promote, facilitate, and educate federal T2 among its member labs and institutions so they can easily reach their commercialization goals, and create social and economic impacts with new innovative technologies. Through the various resources, education and training, tools, and services the FLC creates and provides its members, federal labs are better able to create partnerships, navigate the commercialization process, and achieve market success.


Category Sponsors

Consumer Products Category
Since 1985, Imagineering Inc. has been a pioneer in the industry for Electronic Manufacturing Services. With unparalleled customer service and a diverse product offering we have been regarded as a leader in quality and price in the industry. We also offer an industry first, Full Turnkey Quotes Online; Boards, Labor and Components all at one place all at one time. Join the Revolution happening now at

Machinery/Automation/Robotics Category
Maplesoft provides engineers with the tools and expertise they need to enable a model-driven innovation process that helps manage design complexity. Offering experts in a variety of engineering fields, extensive experience in model-based design, and the superior system-level modeling and analysis tools MapleSim and Maple, Maplesoft helps companies reduce development risk and bring high-quality products to market faster. Through Maple, Maplesoft also provides a complete concept-to-deployment environment for advanced analysis and rapid development of technical applications and engineering calculation tools. Maplesoft products and services are used in machine design, robotics, aerospace, automotive, and many other fields where engineers face complex challenges. Customers include Boeing, FLSmidth, Ford, Google, Intel, NASA, and Samsung.

Maplesoft is a subsidiary of Cybernet Systems Group. For further details, please visit

Medical Category
Qosina is a leading global supplier of thousands of stock components to the medical OEM and pharmaceutical industries, offering complimentary samples, low minimums and Just-In-Time (JIT) delivery. Our extensive inventory includes angiographic needles, applicators, bioprocessing components, catheter hubs, check valves, clamps, clips, compression fittings, ENFit™ connectors, dilators, extension lines, forceps, hemostasis valves, kit components, luers, needleless injection sites, ports, pouches, quick disconnect couplings, scalpels, single-use stainless steel, spikes, sponges, stopcocks, swabs, syringes, torquers, trays, tuohy borst adapters, USP Class VI tubing and more.

Companies purchase from Qosina to eliminate tooling costs and receive immediate delivery from inventory. Purchasing from Qosina will save you time and money by providing in-stock solutions from our ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registered facility. Whether you need molded or extruded components, high value plastics, metal, sub-assemblies or packaging, we invite you to talk to our customer service or product development teams. Sourcing requests are also welcome for tool modifications, hard to find items, sub-assemblies or tubing to meet your specifications. Request your own copy of our catalog with full-scale illustrations on a one-centimeter grid or visit to view our extensive product line.


Prize Sponsors

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. With the broadest technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers' most complex challenges in every region of the world. More information about HP is available at For the design professional, HP Z Workstations have been on the market for over 30 years helping you to be inspired. Designed from the inside out to fulfill your needs, HP Z Workstations deliver high performance and reliability with the latest innovation and industry leading technologies. Performance, innovation, reliability from mobile to the datacenter: your job made easier with HP Z Workstations. Think Z.


For more than two decades, NVIDIA has pioneered visual computing, the art and science of computer graphics.

With a singular focus on this field, we offer specialized platforms for the gaming, professional visualization, data center and automotive markets.

Our work is at the center of the most consequential mega-trends in technology — virtual reality, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.


Contest Producer

Tech Briefs Media Group
Tech Briefs Media Group, an SAE International Company, is publisher of NASA Tech Briefs, the largest-circulation design-engineering magazine worldwide and Aerospace & Defense Technology, the largest-circulation engineering magazine for the mil/aero market. The Tech Briefs Media Group product line has grown to include print/digital advertising, email/web products, virtual events, seminars & conferences, custom media and content related advertising. Additional publications include Automotive Engineering, Off-Highway Engineering, and Medical Design Briefs. Combined, these products reach over 1 million engineers and managers worldwide.


Previous Winners


Development Of A Non-surgical Circulatory Support Device For The Treatment Of Chronic Heart Failure
Omar Benavides, Benjamin Hertzog, Jace Heuring, Reynolds Delgado, and Will Clifton
Aortix™ augments heart function by accelerating a portion of native blood flow within the pump and pushing it downstream to entrain aortic flow. Strategic placement downstream of the heart allows for combined benefit to the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs while eliminating the common VAD risks of damage to the heart and thrombotic stroke.

Robotic Building Construction By Contour Crafting
Behrokh Khoshnevis
Contour Crafting (CC) is a computerized construction method that 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models. Walls are built up by forming their outer surfaces via extrusion of a paste-like material such as concrete, and the use of a robotic trowel to provide a smooth, contoured surface. CC is a very flexible technique, capable of constructing aesthetically pleasing “organic” curvilinear shapes as easily as “boxy” rectilinear shapes; as such, it has attracted strong interest from leading architects.

Nikhil Mehandru, Aaron Perez, Brandon Sim; Loudonville, New York
Four Harvard University students of various disciplines have founded Theratech and have introduced the ChemoPatchTM, a low-cost, disposable, and electronic patch-based cancer chemotherapy device designed to be simple, automated, and easy-to-use by cancer patients outside of the hospital, yet cutting-edge in it's ability to deliver quality early-stage chemotherapy.

Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers
Mark Wagner, Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY
Sensordrone is a multi-purpose, configurable sensor that dramatically extends the sensing capability of smartphones & tablets. It is a key Fob sized platform for both consumers and developers.

?Screen Fast and Cheap Bacteria Detection
Monika Weber, New Haven, CT
?Screen is the needed MEMS rapid pathogen screener for food-borne illnesses. It has a potential to improve health standards at the consumer level by increasing sensitivity, keeping the cost down and testing time short.

Rowheel Wheelchair Propulsion System
Salim Nasser, Merritt Island, FL
The Rowheel offers a fundamental difference in the approach to manual wheelchair propulsion in that it operates by means of a pulling/rowing motion as opposed to pushing.

LifeBelt® CPR
Thomas Lach, Deca-Medics, Columbus, OH
Device makes it easy and safe for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions for extended periods of time.

Litroenergy™, a New Light Source Material

Steve Stark, MPK Co., Champlin, MN
Can emit light continuously for more than 12 years without exposure to sunlight or other energy sources.

Integrated Motor/Pump

David A. Torrey, Advanced Energy Conversion LLC, Malta, NY
Fluid pump design reduces parasitic losses in trucks/other vehicles, improves thermal performance of the electric motor through direct liquid cooling of the windings, and shrinks size by combining the motor and pump in a single housing.

Low-Cost In-Vehicle Emergency Warning Device

Patrick Scholes, CPS Systems, Germantown, TN
A simple emergency beacon detector circuit interrupts a car’s audio system’s power when an emergency vehicle approaches, emitting a brief alarm signal to alert drivers and prevent collisions.

Unitary Orthopedic Appliance

Leonard Duffy, Chittenden Research and Development, Hinesburg, VT
A unique interlocking fastener design with advantages over hook-and-loop systems enables orthopedic devices that can be easily removed, cleaned, and reused.

OsteoSonic™ Noninvasive Bone and Joint Damage Detection Device

Michael Liebschner, Rice University, Houston, TX
This portable, battery-operated unit that fits in the palm of the hand can detect bony fractures and soft tissue damage, operating without radiation.

Rotary Pinion Face Gear Set

Fred Vreeman, Orlando, FL
Low-friction gear set operates with high efficiency over the entire range of power transmission capability.














Press & Blogs

If you blog about the contest or entries and send us the link, we'll post it here with a link to your blog. Contact Us.

August 30, 2012

Our 2012 Entry at NASA's Design the Future Contest

June 15, 2012

NASA Tech Briefs: Create the Future Design Contest

May 29, 2012

Create the Future Ilama a su concurso de diseno Design Contest 2012

August 24, 2011

Vote For Me! » TAKING BACK THE BUILDING - Architecture Controlled by Architects

August 24, 2011

Teknologia Orisi: Computer Mediated Autonomy

July 9, 2010

3 Green Tech Designs That Could Change The World

June 15, 2010

Our economy needs your help – here is how!

June 11, 2010

4 Eco Inventions Designed to Make Life Easier

June 2, 2010

Bio-Friendly Designs Create the Future

May 24, 2010

2010 Create the Future Design Contest

May 4, 2010

Tech Briefs – Create the Future Design Contest 2010 – Make your dreams come true!

April 9, 2010

Here is your chance to Create The Future Enter your Design and Win Prizes

March 17, 2010

Create the Future Design Contest 2010 from COMSOL Start date 01 March 2010

March 17, 2010

Create the Future Design Contest

March 13, 2010

Create the Future Design Contest

March 2, 2010

Design Engineers Compete In “Create the Future” Contest

March 1, 2010

Create the Future llama a su concurso de diseño Design Contest 2010