How the Edison Awards Work

Edison Award Judging Criteria and Categories

You now know the three types of Edison Awards, but that is just the beginning. What varieties of products fit the Edison Awards criteria? On what basis are they judged? And what kind of professional track record would an Edison Achievement Award winner have?

Organizations and products applying for an Edison Award get to select the category that best describes them. The Edison Awards organization outlines the following industry categories:

  • Consumer package goods
  • Electronics and computers
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Industrial design (combining usability and marketability on mass-produced products)
  • Lifestyle and wellness
  • Living, working and learning environments
  • Media and visual communications
  • Science and medical
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • [source: Edison Awards: Product]

Although applicants for both the Edison Best New Product Award and Edison Green Award select an industry category on their applications, there are category winners for only the Edison Best New Product Award. For the Edison Green Award, the application is a starting point for the judges and is used during an initial investigation of a whole organization's environmentally friendly practices.

In addition, the Edison Awards team uses a clear set of five criteria when first judging a nomination:

  • Market structure innovation: This product would represent either a new market area or the re-creation of a current one by carving a new area or taking one over.
  • Marketplace innovation: This product illustrated a stellar introduction to the marketplace, and any traditional marketing methods would need to have been used in new ways.
  • Marketplace success: To fulfill this criterion, a product must show signs of profitability and staying around for the long term.
  • Societal impact: Nominees have a positive effect on society if they improve a user's way of life and allow for more choices.
  • Technological innovation: This criterion relates to how cutting-edge and first-of-its-kind a nominee is.
  • [source: Edison Award: Product]

For the Edison Achievement Award, winners are generally senior business executives in their industry. Their achievements and careers are judged by review of their histories, work practices and positive impact on society.

You are now briefed in the Edison Awards judging criteria, but let's get down to the behind-the-scenes action of the awards program -- important program validation and the inside scoop on the judges casting their votes.