In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) will be held virtually. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Collegiate Inventors

Take Your Innovation to the Next Level with Our Collegiate Inventors Competition

Each year, the nation’s most creative college students come together to compete while networking with world-class inventors.

What is the Collegiate Inventors Competition?

The Collegiate Inventors Competition® is a unique competition that can take your invention to the next level through networking, marketing exposure, mentorship and more!

Since 1990, with the help of our sponsors, we have awarded more than $1 million to students nationwide.

Here’s what you can expect from the CIC experience. First, the competition kicks off as our Finalists attend a virtual welcome session. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to network with other students, as well as with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials.

Next, the competition heats up as Finalists present their inventions to a panel of Judges made up of the most influential inventors and innovation experts in the country — National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office officials and patent examiners.

Enter the Competition

The 2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition is now open for entries! Applications are due by June 7.

Congratulations 2020 CIC Winners!

Graduate Winner: SanaHeal

Graduate Runner-Up: Hearo

Undergraduate Winner: Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO)

Undergraduate Runner-Up: Dyad Syringe

Arrow Electronics People's Choice Award Winner: TrachTech

2020 Undergraduate Finalists

Sabin Karki
Kirby Leo
Paarth Sharma
Brooke Stephanian
Sabin Karki, Kirby Leo, Paarth Sharma, Brooke Stephanian
Johns Hopkins University
Adviser: Nicholas Durr

Of the 200,000 rhinoplasty surgeries performed each year, those using cartilage grafts made of diced tissue instead of solid carved pieces are significantly less prone to warping, resulting in improved patient outcomes. However, dicing is a laborious process, taking up to two hours of a surgeon’s complete attention. The Benegraft Rapid Dicer is an easy-to-use, disposable tool that addresses this problem by dicing cartilage quickly and consistently, reducing the average tissue dicing time from 40 minutes to under five. The device easily integrates into the surgical workflow and deskills the process of graft creation to allow any member of the surgical team to prepare diced tissue.

Bryson Pritchard
Undergraduate Runner-Up
Bryson Pritchard
Stetson University
Adviser: Lou Paris
Dyad Syringe

Administering intravenous (IV) medications is a common practice in hospitals and emergency rooms around the world. However, when multiple medicines need to be applied through an IV, sanitation and replacement of the syringe is required. The Dyad Syringe streamlines this process by providing two chambers: an empty one for the medication and a bottom chamber containing a saline solution. A punching device is used to puncture the latter chamber, thereby sanitizing the catheter. This innovative design is the first syringe that allows the administration of medication and sanitation of the device in a single action — both saving time and decreasing the chance for infection.

Kimball Goss
Grant Hagen
Todd Paskett
Kimball Goss, Grant Hagen, Todd Paskett
Brigham Young University, Utah State University
Adviser: Brian Lewis
Primus Roof Removal

Most of the work that goes into replacing a roof involves the time-intensive process of removing shingles. This considerable investment of resources is due to the continued use of inefficient tools such as shovels, razor scrapers and pitchforks to complete the job. As the first self-propelled roofing teardown tool, the Primus roof removing system increases teardown capacity by more than 75%, saving contractors significant time and money.

Morgan Bohrer
Stephen Hahn
Michael L’Ecuyer
Alex Verne
Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award
Morgan Bohrer, Stephen Hahn, Michael L’Ecuyer, Alex Verne
Tulane University
Adviser: Mark Mondrinos

With ventilators in high demand due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that these machines remain clean and safe. However, in at least 84% of intubation tubes biofilm buildup occurs, restricting airflow and increasing the likelihood that patients will develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). TrachTech developed a specialized, novel device to clean intubation tubes without the risk of extubation. It is specifically designed to efficiently remove biofilms and debris from the tubes and maintain continued airflow from ventilators during the cleaning process.

Elisa Arango
Susannah Dittmar
Lauren Payne
Sanika Rane
Undergraduate Winner
Elisa Arango, Susannah Dittmar, Lauren Payne, Sanika Rane
Rice University
Advisers: Alexander Hanania, Michelle Ludwig, Matthew Wettergreen
Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO)

Cervical cancer disproportionately affects low-income countries where cases progress to later stages, contributing to over 300,000 deaths globally each year. Brachytherapy, a type of radiation therapy, is the only curative treatment for late-stage cases but is infrequently used due to its complexity. The Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO) addresses this challenge by providing a customizable device that simplifies the procedure and lowers patient morbidity - making this life-saving treatment more accessible to women worldwide, regardless of their economic status.

2020 Graduate Finalists

Adebayo Eisape
Ian McLane
Valerie Rennoll
Graduate Runner-Up
Adebayo Eisape, Ian McLane, Valerie Rennoll
Johns Hopkins University
Advisers: Mounya Elhilali, Jim West

When captured, acoustic waves can provide valuable information beyond what the ear detects, supporting efforts from structural monitoring to gathering details about a person’s health. The Hearo is a self-powered, flexible electrostatic transducer that can be tuned and optimized to minimize differences in acoustic impedance and attenuation. Due to its ability to be tuned to closely match the mechanical properties of the medium it is recording, this device enables significantly higher-quality acoustic recordings and communications, even in noisy environments.

Karan Ahuja
Sujeath Pareddy
Karan Ahuja, Sujeath Pareddy
Carnegie Mellon University
Advisers: Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison, Robert Xiao

Augmented reality (AR) allows for the overlay of digital information and interactive content onto real-time video of the real world. Unlike most prior tracking methods, which use QR codes and other markers, LightAnchors takes advantage of the small status lights already found in many electrical appliances. Uniquely, LightAnchors uses these LED lights to both anchor virtual interfaces and also transmit dynamic data, allowing “dumb” devices to become smarter through AR with essentially zero extra cost.

Erica Grant
Erica Grant
University of Tennessee
Adviser: John Bruck
Quantum Lock

As technology continues to advance, hackers have become increasingly skilled in their cybersecurity attacks. Because of this, the electronic lock systems used in hotels have been particularly vulnerable. Quantum Lock technology solves this problem by pairing a quantum random number generator (a device that generates unpredictable numbers by measuring the random behavior of subatomic particles) with a customized set of communication protocols. In addition to making hotel room locks more secure, connected and efficient, the system enables direct communication between the front desk and all locks in the hotel.

Yoonho Kim
Yoonho Kim
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Adviser: Xuanhe Zhao

In the United States, stroke remains a leading cause of death and long-term disability. When treated within 90 minutes, stroke victims have a substantially lower risk of brain damage and death. The Robo-thread is a soft-robotic guidewire that can be magnetically controlled to enable safer and quicker access to hard-to-reach lesions in the brain’s blood vessels, thereby reducing the time it takes to treat stroke patients. Guided by a remotely controlled robot arm that carries a magnet, Robo-thread can be steered in any direction through the brain’s vasculature and has the potential to revolutionize this type of procedure by enabling telerobotic endovascular neurosurgery.

Hyunwoo Yuk
Graduate Winner
Hyunwoo Yuk
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Adviser: Xuanhe Zhao

During surgery, tissue adhesives are regularly used to support suture or staple lines. However, current adhesives are ineffective to seal wet tissues, do not provide rapid, strong adhesion, and often lack a stable and long-term sealing capacity. The SanaHeal bioadhesive is a dry strip of tape that has the unique ability to bind wet tissues together and can potentially replace the staples or sutures used to close surgical sites following an operation and provide healthier healing.

Thank you to our 2021 CIC Sponsors