The good thing with InnoCentive compared to other similar competitions of ideas is that the anonymous proposal system ensures full meritocracy. In InnoCentive, your ideas are worth what they represent and contain, regardless of where you obtained your diploma or your nationality or ethnic origins.
Our Innovation Program Managers have reviewed solutions from thousands of Solvers. Winning Solvers are incredible diverse and no two solutions are presented identically, but the following guidelines may help you get a grounding or refine your solution.
Address all of the solution requirements, point by point, at the end of the main body of your proposal. Don’t neglect this part even if your solution doesn’t meet some of the technical requirements. Although optional, you may want to add a conclusion to your submission and use this section to reiterate your major achievements and to emphasize the novelty of your approach.
Theoretical and RTP Challenge solutions typically follow the following format:
- Brief abstract of your solution
- Introduction and background
- Detailed description of the solution
- Experimental section (if applicable)
- References and notes
- Supporting information
Responses to Ideation Challenges are typically three pages or less. However, do not hesitate to expand on this to convey your idea to the Seeker.
Explain everything; don’t assume “everyone knows that!”. Remember, the Seeker must be convinced the solution will work since in most cases, they have not tried it before. If there is any doubt, they will tend to move on to the next submission. Winning Solvers are specific in their recommendations. They do not offer seven suggestions and say you pick the best one. They may offer a few variations, but they state which answer is the best in their opinion.
Make a “Connection”. Winning Solvers make some type of connection between what they know (or have found) and the Challenge at hand. They may relate it to a similar problem they solved or have seen solved previously. They may connect one industry with a completely different one. The Seekers are sometimes too close to the problem, while you, on the outside looking in, can make those connections. If you find yourself just gathering information and shoveling it over the fence, then you probably have not made that “connection” needed to be an award winner. Look for that connection!