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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Aquaback Water Purification System

Votes: 17
Views: 14021

Aquaback is developing a highly efficient, low cost, low maintenance, compact, modular vapor compression distiller to be the water processing module in a wide variety of water processing systems to clean incoming water or reclaim waste water. The systems will enable recycling of most water for any use including potable water at a lower overall cost than any other technology or combinations of technologies, addressing water supply and disposal problems world wide. Distillation provides the highest purity water in a single operation but until now distillers have been too expensive to make or operate to be practical. Aquaback has optimized every aspect of distillation using the known vapor compression method to recycle over 99% of the heat of vaporization using a mass manufactured, self-cleaning, low maintenance, low cost design.

The basic module design is sized for a single household but is scalable by combining individual modules in arrays for larger capacity systems applicable to industrial and commercial wastewater reuse or purification systems. The combination of low direct energy consumption and the absence of consumable filters and chemicals minimize environmental impact.

State of the art technology is used throughout from the electronic control system and sensors to the materials and fabrication methods. The operating temperature is the boiling point of water so the system is designed fundamentally to conserve heat. It is enclosed in a vacuum insulation shell that loses less than 20 watts of power at standby and enables an external temperature that is only a few degrees above ambient. The compressor is a high speed turbo machine, with a single moving part, running on water bearings for long life, efficiency and maintenance free operation. Noise and heat loss is not detected from a few feet away. The module is 9 inches in diameter, 26 inches high and weighs 60 pounds. It consumes less than 400 watts while producing 20 gallons per hour of distillate from a wide variety of influents including sewage.

Large markets will include distributed household wastewater treatment systems that can offer full recycling and zero discharge if desired, industrial wastewater treatment and point of entry water systems. A unique, patent protected ammonia removal system exceeds the requirements of all known environmental regulations when sewage is recycled. Industrial wastewater will be cleaned at point of contamination and point of entry systems for large buildings, towns, residential developments and shopping centers will utilize arrays with built in central control and information delivery. Industrial use for incoming water treatment, waste water and recycling will use single or a few units at the point of use or arrays for a whole plant.

  • Awards

  • 2012 Sustainable Technologies Category Winner
  • 2012 Top 100 Entries


Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    E. Andrew Condon
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    William Zebuhr
    Scott Newquist
    David Dussault
    E. Andrew Condon
    Steven Sahagian
    Nicholas Wong
    Michael Easton
    William Burie
    Charles Blanchard
    Nicole Sandoval
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: