2024 Contest Now Accepting Entries!

Submit your best new product ideas for a chance at $25,000, other great prizes, and global recognition. If you already are registered, log in to access the entry form. Otherwise, click here to get started.

Help build a better tomorrow

Since Tech Briefs magazine launched the Create the Future Design contest in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovation, over 15,000 design ideas have been submitted by engineers, students, and entrepreneurs across six continents. You can also join the innovators who dared to dream big and build a better tomorrow by entering this year’s contest.

Read About Past Winners’ Success Stories

Over the past 20 years, many innovators have used the recognition afforded by the contest to advance the development and marketing of their technologies. We highlight some success stories of past winners who have brought their inventions to the marketplace.

Click here to read more

A ‘Create the Future’ Winner Featured on ‘Here’s an Idea’

Spinal cord injury affects 17,000 Americans and 700,000 people worldwide each year. A research team at NeuroPair, Inc. won the Grand Prize in the 2023 Create the Future Design Contest for a revolutionary approach to spinal cord repair. In this Here’s an Idea podcast episode, Dr. Johannes Dapprich, NeuroPair’s CEO and founder, discusses their groundbreaking approach that addresses a critical need in the medical field, offering a fast and minimally invasive solution to a long-standing problem.

Listen now

Thank you from our Sponsors

“At COMSOL, we are very excited to recognize innovators and their important work this year. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Create the Future Design Contest, which is an excellent platform for designers to showcase their ideas and products in front of a worldwide audience. Best of luck to all participants!”

— Bernt Nilsson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, COMSOL, Inc.

“From our beginnings, Mouser has supported engineers, innovators and students. We are proud of our longstanding support for the Create the Future Design Contest and the many innovations it has inspired.”

— Kevin Hess, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Mouser Electronics

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Lift Pump

Votes: 0
Views: 10683

High-Flow Lift Pump

In fighting wildfires, and in many other applications, there is a need to lift water a few feet, say from a creek or river, to fill a header tank or mobile water tender. Particularly in firefighting, turnaround time is what measures success at the end of the day.

The current invention comprises an axial flow impeller pump section located at the inlet end of the transfer hose, a power head at the flex-fitting located near the destination (tank or truck), and a flexible drive shaft running inside the transfer hose. Sections of transfer hose may be daisy-chained, with the internal drive shafts automatically coupling together as the hose is assembled.

Prototypes have been built and successfully operated under test conditions. Flow rates of 500 to 1000 gallons per minute have been achieved at up to 12 feet of head. For one series of tests, the pump and power head were fitted to a Boeing/Vertol helicopter, successfully filling a 1000 gallon drop tank during hover.

In addition to flight applications, this pump shows promise in making quick turnarounds, drawing water from small creeks and ponds with minimal accessibility to fill tender trucks. By linking a number of 20-foot hose sections together, a 5,000 gallon tender could be located on a road up to 1,000 feet from the source, and filled in a matter of a few minutes.

The impeller is made of a custom-molded thermoplastic engineering resin, and is not only highly resistant to wear and trash, but is inexpensive, and easily field-replaceable.

Additional applications are seen in fields such as marine, wastewater treatment, and oil industries.

  • Awards

  • 2010 Machinery & Equipment Category Winner


Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Eric Foy
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Eric's favorite design and analysis tools:
  • For managing CAD data Eric's company uses:
    custom php
  • Eric's hobbies and activities:
    guitar, photography, aviation
  • Eric belongs to these online communities:
  • Eric is inspired by:
    Advanced materials
    Form following function
    Great architecture
  • Hardware used for this entry:
    Dell Inspiron
    Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: