A Manufacturing Grant for Cool Ideas
Great product ideas emerge every day, but far too many promising napkin sketches end up in the bin because product development resources are scarce. For this reason Protolabs’ European Cool Idea Award was established to help turn those inspiring concepts into real-life products.
Every year the initiative grants up to £100,000 in Protolabs manufacturing services, split over four quarterly award programs, so innovative thinkers can use their grant towards building prototypes and even an initial production run.
The entry process for the Cool Idea Award is your opportunity to shout to the industry about how great your design idea is. It is the chance to bring your product to life, to take your product to market without incurring prototyping costs, then tell your story with free publicity for both your product and your company.
Alumni and Judges
How to Apply
The application process is easy:
- Fill out an initial application—it’s three short questions. Apply here.
- Judges will select finalists based on the initial application.
- Finalists will submit more product details, including a 3D CAD model of their part.
- Judges will review the finalists and select a winner.
The application periods this year are:
- October 1 – December 31, 2019
- January 1 – February 29, 2020
- April 1 – May 31, 2020
- July 1 – August 31, 2020
- October 1 – November 30, 2020
If you are selected for a Cool Idea Award, you must use the services within 90 days and should be at a stage in your project that allows you to begin executing soon after.
Rules and Regulations
The Cool Idea Award is intended to help early-stage companies and entrepreneurs. Read through our guidelines for additional requirements, and if you’re ready to take your idea to the next level, we’d love to see what you’re working on.
General guidelines for the submission process:
- A 3D CAD model(s) must be uploaded if you successfully get through to round 2.
- If you are granted an award, Protolabs will ask you to let us actively promote your project in print, press releases, case studies, etc.
- Cool Idea Award recipients have 90 days to use their award.
- If your project is related to a government contract or grant, it is ineligible for an award.
- Protolabs employees and families are ineligible for an award.