bellingham, wa


As long as you live in one of the eligible cities, you can apply to any other city that is participating in the competition!

Bothell is Empowering Community Innovation in Applied Life Science

NWIRC and the City of Bothell are focused on the theme of Applied Life Science. 

This is the use of what is learned in pure life sciences (such as biology, chemistry, botany etc.) for practical use as technologies or inventions.

Applied Life Science can mean any variety of the following:

  • New social processes
  • New medical treatments
  • New materials for manufacturing
  • New ways to manufacture and process old materials
  • Technological applications to any life science (AI, Machine Learning, A/R, V/R, IoT etc.)
  • Healthy populations
  • Nutritional science
  • And more…

This competition is open to any resident who lives in one of the 8 participating cities (see cities and links below).

  • You can apply to any of the themes (not just your city, you apply to the city whose theme fits your idea). Check eligibility by zip code here.
  • You can apply more than once.
  • You can apply to more than one theme.
  • You can form a team of up to 3 people.
  • You don’t need to have any business experience, just an idea for how to solve the challenge.
  • You can submit ideas for products or services.
  • The ideas are still yours to pursue after the competition.
  • You can get help from the NWIRC to answer questions.

*Be sure to review all the rules before applying. Once you submit an idea you cannot revoke it, but you can update submissions.

Tips for coming up with ideas to submit for the challenge:

  • Great ideas start with you – As the individuals who work every day in the industries that could use innovation, you’ve got great ideas to solve these challenges. You may not think the ideas are good enough or the right fit – but you never know until you try.
  • Think small to think big– Small ideas can have big impact, by solving one problem in a bigger process efficiency can be dramatically improved, creating a big impact.
  • Focus on one problem at a time– Identify a problem within any industry that benefits from the theme concept and look to solve that problem only. If you have multiple ideas to solve the idea, submit multiple ideas.
  • Dream big – think about the bigger impact on how the industry can be defined or disrupted in the long run, not necessarily that one single idea needs to be big and bold.
  • Quantity over Quality – it may seem a bit counter intuitive, but when you are in the idea stage, you want to have lots of ideas to work from instead of a few. Brainstorm, then you can narrow it down.