2024 Downloadable Contest Official Rules

The competition offers two track options. Please visit the “Competition Tracks” page for details. The winner(s) shall receive, for each track:

  • 1st Prize: US$3,000 monetary prize for the winners (split equality between team members), a trophy (medal), and a certificate for each team member. Support for team members participation in an IEEE co-sponsored event (travel reimbursement up to US$2,000 per team according to IEEE Policies and Procedures).
  • 2nd Prize: US$2,000 monetary prize for the winners (split equality between team members), a trophy (medal), and a certificate for each team member.
  • 3rd Prize: US$1,000 monetary prize for the winners (split equality between team members), a trophy (medal), and a certificate for each team member.

In addition, all winning team members, if they are not IEEE members, will receive a 1-year membership in the IEEE for 2025.

Awards will be given only if a suitable awardee is identified.

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are the scoring criteria? Please make sure that you read all the information posted on the COMPETITION TRACKS tab, which includes, for each track, all the criteria judges will be taking into consideration when evaluating your project. Each solution is unique, and some criteria may force tradeoffs vs. others, so we expect that you may not be able to meet all the criteria to a high degree. The more criteria you can address, the higher your project will be rated. You can choose to explain why some criteria make sense to prioritize over others for your situation.
  • Can I submit a project about energy sources for lighting? While novel forms of affordable energy sources can be critical to bringing light to remove areas of the globe, and can be included in your project design, for this competition, your project must include a light source.
  • Can my organization submit more than one project? Yes. According to the contest rules (see the downloadable PDF file posted on this page), an organization can submit up to three projects per contest track, but teams for each project must be different. An individual can be included in more than one team.
  • Who retains intellectual property rights for submitted projects? You must sign a Creative Commons copyrights form to submit your project (see the ENTER tab), which will only be retained if you win a prize. Otherwise, it will be returned to you.
  • I am concerned about sharing confidential information. How will my proposal be shared? Your documents will be confidential and accessible by the judges only, for grading purposes.
  • Is there a specific income level or product cost limit for the beneficiaries of the contest? The desired goal of the competition is a light source accessible to, and affordable by anyone, anywhere. The proposals should benefit local end-users with the lowest income levels. No specific income level or product cost are defined for the competition since local situations vary.
  • What is meant by “local”? The goal is to promote local manufacture where sensible. By “local”, we mean as close as possible to the point of end use—within country or a region of neighboring countries, reducing the carbon contribution from the import of pre-assembled components. The development of national and regional manufacturing facilities increases local employment, building capacity and knowledge for the design and production of goods that match local needs.
  • Is my country eligible? In doubt, please contact us, specifying your country of residence.