The 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition® will be held Oct. 11-12 at the Clara Barton Auditorium in the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

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® (CIC) is a unique competition that offers opportunities to advance your invention through networking, marketing exposure, mentorship and more!

What can Finalists expect from the CIC experience? The competition kicks off as our Finalists attend a welcome session at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters. Here, you’ll network with other students, as well as with USPTO officials.

Next, the competition heats up as you present your invention 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 USPTO officials and patent examiners. You will also present your work to the public at our CIC Expo.

Winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony and will receive cash prizes and a USPTO patent acceleration certificate. You can learn more about patent acceleration here.

Enter the Competition

Entries for the 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition are closed. Check back in the spring for information on the 2023 competition.

Congratulations 2021 CIC Winners!

Graduate Winner: SolarClear

Graduate Runner-Up: VirSENSE

Undergraduate Winner: EarFlow

Undergraduate Runner-Up: Augment Health Bladder Management System

Arrow Electronics People's Choice Award Winner: Firebot

2022 Undergraduate Finalists

Bradley Johnson
Jesse McFall
Logan Schorr
Bradley Johnson, Jesse McFall, Logan Schorr
Virginia Commonwealth University
Adviser: Ravi Hadimani
Adaptive High-Temperature End Effector

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) can produce everything from artificial body parts to full-sized houses. The Adaptive High-Temperature End Effector is designed to help reduce production time, enable mass production and lower costs for small-batch production of specialty items. Using a robotic arm equipped with an end effector that functions like tongs, alloy steel grippers and aluminum oxide castable ceramic insulators, this technology also can eliminate risks involved in handling high-temperature metal, supporting new capabilities in additive manufacturing.

Daniel Chester-Ziv
Harrison Hertzberg
Eric Nguyen
Daniel Chester-Ziv, Harrison Hertzberg, Eric Nguyen
Drexel University
Adviser: Chuck Sacco
AeroPest

To eliminate pest infestations in elevated areas, pest control service personnel often use ladders, lifts or roof climbing equipment and wear cumbersome protective gear and backpack sprayers, increasing the risk of falls. With AeroPest, unmanned aerial vehicles, or flying drones, are used to carry a precision spraying system to eliminate pests in restricted areas and at heights previously unreachable. This system can precisely spray or inject only the necessary insecticide dosage, avoiding chemical overspray and environmentally harmful runoff while reducing injury risks.

Jordan Cole
Kathleen Fallon
Ally Reichart
Karly Ripple
Jordan Cole, Kathleen Fallon, Ally Reichart, Karly Ripple
Clemson University
Adviser: John DesJardins
CatheSure

Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid within the brain’s ventricles. It affects patients of all ages, including one in 500 children worldwide, and is typically treated with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. However, shunt malfunctions are frequent, extremely difficult to detect and life-threatening if not treated promptly. The CatheSure is the first device that noninvasively and wirelessly detects ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure. Rapid, cost effective and easy to use, it is integrated with an existing shunt and lasts the entire lifetime of the shunt, without requiring battery replacements or Wi-Fi access. 

Jenlu Pagnotta
Delphine Tan
Hannah Yamagata
Jenlu Pagnotta, Delphine Tan, Hannah Yamagata
Johns Hopkins University
Adviser: Alissa Burkholder Murphy
Dynamic Brace

Clubfoot, a birth defect causing the foot or feet to turn inward and downward, affects one in 1,000 U.S. infants annually and can hinder the ability to walk. With a typical “boots and bar” brace system, which rigidly connects and demobilizes the feet, one in four children experience relapse, often due to noncompliance. The soft, flexible, lightweight Dynamic Brace increases compliance, eliminating the need for a connecting bar and supporting mobility and comfort by allowing both feet to move independently.

Visala Tallavarjula
Visala Tallavarjula
University of California, Santa Barbara
Adviser: Ashok Das
Sequestron

Over the next 25 years, global food demand is expected to increase by 70%, leading to more water usage. Traditional above-ground irrigation methods are inefficient and often involve evaporation loss, and subsurface irrigation requires a costly initial investment. Sequestron is an infiltration insert method that suppresses evaporation using a topsoil bed, keeping water at the root zone and preventing it from reaching groundwater reserves by the Percolation Control Layer. Delivering many advantages over standard techniques, it can be implemented using materials that are readily available to most farmers.

2022 Graduate Finalists

Vishnu Jayaprakash
Vishnu Jayaprakash
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Adviser: Kripa Varanasi
AgZen-Cloak

Agricultural pesticide pollution is responsible for about 200,000 deaths and 385 million acute illnesses annually. Only 2% of sprayed pesticide reaches targeted plant surfaces because these surfaces are water repellant, so pesticides are regularly oversprayed. AgZen-Cloak technology cloaks droplets of pesticide-laden water with an ultra-thin layer of biodegradable, food-safe, plant-derived oil to increase retention on plants. This invention could help farmers use approximately 80% less spray and ensure better crop protection, yield and revenue while reducing pollution.

Victor Champagne
Yoolim Jenn Kim
Haritosh Patel
Jiwon Woo
Victor Champagne, Yoolim Jenn Kim, Haritosh Patel, Jiwon Woo
Harvard University
Adviser: Joanna Aizenberg
A-SEP

Sepsis, which occurs when the body’s response to infection damages its own organs, results in death for about 20% of infected patients. Treatment success often depends on the speed of diagnosis, so A-SEP focuses on quickly detecting endotoxin concentration in blood plasma. Building on a limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) inversion test, A-SEP uses a paper-based microfluidic test kit to determine the level of infection in patients’ blood. This low-cost technology can be deployed around the world to combat the disproportionate deaths in low-resource settings.

Cory Cooney
Parker Martin
Cory Cooney, Parker Martin
University of Michigan
Adviser: Anne Perigo
epiSLS

Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S. and can be life-threatening. Currently, the best allergy testing method is a skin prick test conducted by an allergist. However, there is just one allergist per 50,000 people in the U.S. Using a new optical sensing technology to measure mast cell degranulation, epiSLS is the first point-of-care allergy test. Offering accuracy, speed and accessibility, epiSLS can help provide the highest quality care regardless of access to specialists.

Arthur Petusseau
Arthur Petusseau
Dartmouth College
Advisers: Brian Pogue, Petr Bruza
Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance

An estimated 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses are expected to occur in the U.S. in 2022. The primary modality for solid tumor cancer treatment is surgery. Unfortunately, tumor tissue can be missed during resection, increasing the risk of cancer recurrence. Surgery can be made more specific using fluorescent markers to enhance contrast during tumor resection. The Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance is a time-gated optical system enabling real-time imaging of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. As tumors are hypoxic, imaging oxygen distribution can greatly enhance surgery outcome.

Jeehan Chang
Sunghee Estelle Park
Shawn Kang
Jeehan Chang, Sunghee Estelle Park, Shawn Kang
University of Pennsylvania
Adviser: Dan Dongeun Huh
OCTOPUS

Currently, fewer than 9% of drugs entering clinical trials are approved for the marketplace. To effectively predict patient responses to drugs and reduce the time and money needed to bring drugs to market, OCTOPUS enables the growth of stem cell-derived mini-organs, or organoids, which mimic the structure and function of human organs and can grow to the necessary maturity to correctly predict responses to specific therapeutics. This accessible approach also presents the possibility of generating patient-specific organoids for personalized medicine.

Thank you to our 2022 CIC Sponsors