Nokia Open Innovation Challenge 2021


Creative Ideas Tech & IT

Location (s):

  • Online


We are inviting companies who have innovative and disruptive solutions for new the Industrial Automation era. Selected winners will share a prize pool of $175,000 and the possibility for establishing strategic partnerships with Nokia and its partners. Industrial automation in this context means intelligence over high performance digital networks, to support unprecedented levels of automation and usher a new era of productivity for industrials and the public sector.


About Nokia Open Innovation Challenge

NOIC offers the opportunity for bright minded companies to propose best-in-class products and solutions within the Industrial IoT domain to an international jury. The jury will then select the most advanced and innovative candidates to attend the final event that will be held in early December at Nokia Bell Labs’ headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In the final, these finalists will present their innovative products or solutions to the executive level jury who will then select the winners.

The next generation industrial revolution will not only affect traditional industry operators but every single business which has requirements for automation and optimized services. These enterprises are making the leap to higher productivity and quality with the next generation of connectivity and applications.

NOIC is about evolution and revolution. We are looking for something that might already be established but could reach new heights of interest within the industry domain through your idea and with the right support from Nokia; or then something which is a totally new idea and concept but might need some fine tuning to fit the requirements of potential customers.

But be innovative as big innovations occur when people look beyond the obvious, so think big and out of the box. 

The who, what, and why

The Nokia Open Innovation Challenge is a competition looking to source early stage companies for Nokia Bell Labs to partner with on some of our most strategic business and technology interests.

For the past seven years the NOIC achieved its ambitions of developing meaningful partnerships. Our collaborations ranged from low IoT power consumption, to the democratization of robotics capabilities and new technologies for smart clothing that pioneered an innovative way to consume information.

Value proposition

Based on our legacy and experience, our mission is to offer startups the opportunity to propose best-in-class products and solutions fitting our needs; and present your ideas and technologies to an international jury of thought leaders. In return, Nokia Bell Labs develops hand in hand long lasting partnerships with you (beyond just a PoC), engages you in new business development opportunities with our research labs and business groups, as well as providing you dedicated mentorship and resources.

We are reflecting seriously on the purpose of the NOIC as a driver for business development opportunities, most notably on some of the internal strategic themes that attract talent, funding, capabilities and dedication. This is an opportunity for startups to gain visibility, develop and maintain business opportunities, and benefit from Nokia Bell Labs technological resources, mentorships from experts, and onsite and virtual facilities. The possibilities include in-residence programs offered through our Garage programs or 5G testbeds.


NOIC is looking for innovations that may already be established, but can achieve increased interest within the industry given the right support from Nokia; or innovations which are totally new, but need fine tuning to satisfy the requirements of potential customers.​

NOIC is about evolution and revolution. We are convinced that fostering win-win partnerships with startups can position us to address the most pressing challenges the world faces, be it wireless communication, industrial automation, or sustainability.



About Nokia Bell Labs

Nokia Bell Labs is one of the pre-eminent global research organizations today, with a rich history of solving the great challenges facing the information and communications industry and ‘inventing the future’. It remains focused on that mission, working on the ‘10x’ challenges that confront the evolution of networks and, given the dependence we increasingly have on those networks, the evolution of the future digital society.

In fact, one could argue that there has never been a more exciting time to be undertaking research in these domains. Bell Labs researchers have been recognized by many of the world’s most prestigious technology organizations for their contributions to science, technology and society. 14 of our researchers have shared in 7 Nobel Prizes for Physics and one Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discoveries ranging from the invention of the technologies that serve as the foundation for all information technology, to the nature of subatomic particles and the origins of the universe. And 4 of our scientists have been awarded the Japan Prize, including Dennis Ritchie and Kenneth Thompson for developing the UNIX® operating system.

Bell Labs researchers are global leaders in their respective disciplines and conduct fundamental and applied research geared toward solving the most formidable networking and communications challenges confronting our world, in IP and Optical networks, ultra-broadband access (wireless and wired), novel communications platforms and systems, new algorithms and protocols, and advanced virtualization and software-defined networking technologies that underpin today’s Cloud infrastructure. The goal is always to discover breakthrough technologies that will make networks 10x faster, smarter, more scalable and more sustainable.

Bell Labs is a global organization with headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey, with locations throughout the world, and is the research arm of Nokia. It collaborates closely with Nokia's product development teams and customers to create new information and communications technologies and to bring them to market, or to create novel intellectual property for commercialization by the wider industry.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

What are the evaluation criteria?

Innovativeness, feasibility and scalability of the idea. Submissions will be assessed considering the joint business potential as well.


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants:

Cash prize

NOIC Executive Jury will have the power of discretion to allocate the cash prize to the best fitting submission or submissions.

  • $100,000 1st place
  • $50,000 2nd place
  • $25,000 3rd place
Find your Dream Opportunity Abroad!

Search from 5471 opportunities in 183 countries