2022 Innovators Awards: Do’s and Don’ts of a Quality Nomination

July 28, 2022
United Way of Northwest Indiana was selected in 2021 as a Society of Innovators Team Inductee. Pictured, from left to right, are Andrea Proulx-Buinicki, Grace Morin, and Claire Schapker.

The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest has opened nominations for the 2022 Innovators Awards. In addition to inducting individual and team honorees into the Society, three unique awards will be considered: Richard C. Sussman Prize for Team Innovation, Society of Innovators Fellows and the John H. Davies Lifetime Achievement Award.

Innovation can sometimes be confused with just an accomplishment, invention, creativity and even entrepreneurship. The Society of Innovators defines innovation as thinking creatively and developing ideas that provide solutions, add value, and are implemented as new or different products, processes, services and social initiatives.

Put simply: innovation is a new solution delivering value to the community. It can be found across all walks of life and is important to both existing organizations as well as startups. The Society’s innovator awards aim to recognize the people behind the innovation happening in Northwest Indiana.

Applications for the Society’s 2022 Innovators Awards are now open

Who is eligible to be nominated? Remember these important facts:

  • Today, every sector – education and government, business and industry, and the nonprofit community – has to be innovative. Nominations from all sectors and industries are encouraged.
  • Technology is often linked with innovation, but it is not a requisite. Oftentimes, technology is simply the tool or medium being used to solve problems or add value. Nominations are encouraged for innovations that provide a new solution, with or without a technology component.
  • Anyone can be an innovator! Previous inductees into the Society of Innovators range from high school students to older retirees. Nominations are encouraged or innovators of all ages, backgrounds, races and experiences.
  • Any individual who lives or works in Northwest Indiana is eligible for consideration. Teams from an individual company, government unit, not-for-profit agency, or a group of organizations from a specific project will be considered. Not all team members must be located in Northwest Indiana, but the team leader should be based here to be eligible.

While the awards recognize the people behind the work, our selection committee will also examine the innovations these people are responsible for. An innovation should meet the following criteria:

  • It provides a new solution. Does the innovation address a need, problem or opportunity in a new or unique way?
  • It benefits society. What value or benefit does the innovation bring to the end user?
  • It creates value. Is there any quantifiable evidence of success for the innovation such as revenue generated, patents received, cost savings incurred, grants received, media coverage, etc?

Nominations are being accepted through Friday, September 9. You can easily nominate an individual and/or project team. Remember, you can submit as many nominations as you wish and self-nominations are also encouraged!

Please fill in all of the details that you can for the innovator you are nominating. You can preview the nomination form questions before starting.