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E&T Innovation Awards reveal new categories relating to the fight against COVID-19

The IET has access to some of the best engineering minds in the world and each year it recognises and celebrates the achievements of the most outstanding innovations across engineering and technology that tackle major economic and social challenges.

The IET’s mission is to inspire excellence in the engineering and technology sector and these awards put innovators cutting edge technology and advances in the spotlight and help them to advance their fundamental work.

In the current climate, the NHS and other care providers across the world are tackling the COVID-19 outbreak, with engineers and innovators also helping in the fight against the pandemic; from creating a device to enable an elderly or vulnerable person to accept a food parcel to a mass-produced ventilator. The IET wants to hear about the organisations and innovators out there who are making a real difference and working to engineer a better world.

IET President, Peter Bonfield said: “This is the sixteenth year of our Innovation Awards and we’ve seen some incredible innovations over the years that have made a real difference and helped to solve many global challenges. In these uncertain times, it’s important that we all work together, across all sectors, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Our awards bring together the best innovative minds and adding these new categories in light of the current situation will hopefully bring about real change.”

There are 16 categories to showcase an innovation this year:

  • Digital Health and Social Care: looking for breakthrough innovation and creativity from organisations who are designing effective and efficient solutions to the health and care needs of international populations.
  • Future Power & Energy: recognising cutting edge solutions within the energy sector across the areas of energy discovery, procurement and distribution.
  • Communications & IT: showcasing an organisation pushing the boundaries in the communications and IT sectors.
  • Manufacturing 4.0: from robotics to sustainability and beyond, looking for those companies that are committed to innovation and adapting to the new era of Industry 4.0.
  • Sustainable Planet: looking for an organisation who is making significant steps to bridge the gap between an unsustainable present and a more sustainable future.
  • Protecting Society & Saving Lives: designed to recognise the innovative activity of Emergency Services, Sailors, Soldiers, Aircrew and Marines from around the world.
  • Cyber Security: recognises an organisation which is taking proactive steps to counter attacks and take preventative measures to remain one step ahead of cyber threats.
  • R&D: Recognition will be given to entries delivering tangible, pioneering and original solutions which address specific needs, offering a new value stream.
  • Tech for Good: recognising tech whose product confronts hard problems facing our planet and society and which is transforming lives for the better and accelerates good.
  • Smarter World: awarded to an engineering team in recognition of a project which demonstrates how smart technology has been used to enhance user experience and champions better intelligent systems for creating a smarter planet.
  • Model-Based Engineering: recognises projects where modelling and simulation have been used in the design, implementation and test of products, especially innovative embedded systems.
  • Intelligent Systems: recognises excellence in the development of embedded and real-time systems that are typically highly connected, have massive processing power and perform complex functions that are often safety-critical or mission-critical.
  • Future Unicorn: putting the spotlight on the start-ups who have the potential to be the next tech giant. Open to engineering and technology start-ups from across all sectors.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Impact: recognising an organisation who has rolled out an initiative which contributes to building a move diverse and inclusive engineering and technology culture, and whose work has helped make the industry more accessible to people from under-represented groups.
  • Small idea, Big impact: Global Challenge: in response to Covid-19, there have been many examples of innovation, including technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help track the outbreak, clean hospitals, deliver supplies and develop vaccines.
  • Leader of the Year: celebrating an exemplary leader whose vision, passion and strategic thinking has had a real impact on their organisation or the wider industry, particularly over the last 12 months.

Find out more about the 2020 E&T Innovation Awards here:



About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information about the IET visit For more information about Inspec visit
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.

Media enquiries to:

Rebecca Gillick
External Communications Manager
T: 01438 765 618
M: +44 (0)7725 498 129

Sophie Lockhart
Senior Communications Executive
T:  01438 765686
M: +44 (0)7872 844 422