InnovationErie: Design Competition 2015 Seeking Bright Ideas


March 9, 2015, Erie, PA – Now in its seventh year, InnovationErie Design Competition was created to catalyze creative economic development in Northwest PA by supporting an innovative community of artists, scientists, artists, manufacturers, engineers and designers (SAM & ED).

The competition emerged to encourage local economic development by allowing people to submit original product ideas that could be manufactured or created in the Erie region, with the possibility of creating new small businesses.

The competition is open to individuals or teams, 18 years old and over, whose product design could be manufactured in the Greater Erie Area. The contest begins by submitting an electronic application to through May 15, 2015 by midnight. An independent panel of judges will select fifteen semi-finalists designs who will exhibit their ideas at the Erie Art Museum in summer 2015. Four top finalists will be chosen to compete for the Wilbur Henry Adams Award, with over $30,000 in cash and assistance prizes.

The Wilbur Henry Adams Award
Several assistance prizes are included for 2015, including partnerships with the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, Papa Advertising, and a new high-design award from Edinboro University.

The Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University (ETI) provides technology-enabled start-ups and early-stage businesses with strategic guidance and professional mentoring to address their most significant challenges. ETI offers personal, hands-on support in an open, collaborative environment that is designed to challenge the entrepreneur’s thinking, expand his/her capabilities, and prepare the business for growth. ETI joins InnovationErie as a sponsor this year and will be providing one winner with six (6) months of residency in its Erie offices, along with comprehensive staff support and a carefully selected professional mentor team that will be assembled based on the winner’s specific needs.

“ETI’s mission is to support, train, and mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs who leverage technology to build their businesses, so sponsoring InnovationErie is an excellent fit! Our companies appreciate the opportunity to learn from successful professionals across very diverse backgrounds, and we look forward to helping one entrepreneur move closer to achieving the American dream right here in Erie,” stated Jeffrey H. Parnell, ETI’s Executive Director.

PAPA Advertising, a full service advertising agency with nationally recognized success, will partner with this year’s winners to strategically and creatively offer guided marketing and public relations planning. An initial consultation will focus on developing a basic marketing plan as well as content recommendations for public awareness and promotion.

Also this year is Edinboro University special cash prize for Edinboro’s Design Excellence Award. The prize was created to encourage the integration of aesthetic considerations at the inception of the design process, as an inherent part of the functionality and quality of the object. Award criteria are contingent on designs that embody aesthetic considerations as an inherent part of the functionality of an object. Preference will be given to Edinboro alumni.

McDonald Illig Jones and Britton LLP will return this year and continue to provide legal consulting and assistance with filing a Design Patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a Design Patent, as well as consultation on intellectual property law or business formation with a patent attorney.

Interested candidates can find out more information about submission criteria and details about prizes at

The 2015 Innovation Erie Sponsors include: Erie Art Museum, McDonald Illig Jones and Britton LLP, Papa Advertising, Edinboro University, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Innovation Collaborative, Erie Technology Incubator, NWIRC, Eriez Magnetics, Adam Williams, Esq & Erie Business Law, Decision Associates and Civitas.