The Spinoff Prize

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The Spinoff Prize will be announced at the 2023 Future Insight™ Days; you can also register here for Curious2022 - Future Insight™ Conference

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This information is subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and any resulting restrictions.

Spinoff Award Illustration


The Spinoff Prize — an award for early stage university spinoff companies from around the world. The Spinoff Prize aims to encourage and give visibility to academic entrepreneurs and their companies. The judging panel will look for spinoffs that translate original, high-quality scientific research into products and services that address market problems and are well positioned to make a positive impact on society.
In 2022, The Spinoff Prize will focus on spinoff companies founded on research in life sciences or physical sciences, both of which can include digital technology approaches i.e. including artificial intelligence, deep learning, neuromorphic computing and quantum computing. A shortlist will be profiled in an online special report published in Nature, alongside the list of the companies deemed the  ‘ones to watch’. Shortlisted spinoffs will pitch to the slam panels, after which one winner will receive a €30,000 cash prize.
We encourage applications from anywhere in the world, from applicants of all genders and company positions, including companies in early stages of establishment. Eligibility criteria shown below.

Key dates

December 2022 Longlisted and shortlisted companies will be informed under embargo
March 2023 Longlisted and shortlisted companies announced within the online special report
July 2023 Slam panels will take place and the winner will be announced at the 2023 Future Insight™ Days  


Evaluation process and criteria

Submitted applications will be assessed by our judging panel consisting of editorial staff from Nature Portfolio, and independent experts. Panel members will review applications to select the best applications, creating a longlist that will be published online.  From this selection, a shortlist of will be selected to pitch in a virtual slam event. Of these, finalists will be invited to attend the 2023 Future Insight™ Days in July 2023**, where the winner will be selected.  Full details of the format for the slam stages will be provided to the shortlisted applicants in advance. Provisionally a pitch deck of slides will be required. Applicants will make a short pitch to the panel and that will be followed by a Q&A session. The judging panel is wholly responsible for the final decision. The chief judge will have a casting vote in the event of a tie.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria. The applicant will have to answer questions that relate to each of the criteria and the numbers in brackets will be the maximum marks available for each section.


The longlisted spinoffs, the ‘ones to watch’ will:

The shortlisted spinoffs will:

The finalists selected from the virtual slam will:

The overall winner of The Spinoff Prize will:

Note: Nature Awards and Merck support the Sunshine Act and other initiatives that promote transparency in relationships with healthcare providers and are committed to meeting all transparency reporting requirements, including Open Payments. We are likewise committed to meeting similar state laws enacted by state authorities to require transparency reporting about payments and other transfers of value made to relevant healthcare providers. We may therefore require reporting actions from the eventual winner consistent with such legal requirements.


** subject to feasibility in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic.


This information is subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and any resulting restrictions.