Entry Guidelines

Eligibility Any student in a Japanese or overseas university, graduate school, vocational institution or high school, who is interested in design, may apply (including working student).
Students not majoring in the design discipline are also welcome to apply.

You can apply as an individual or in a group.

Conditions Any genre is welcome.
We are looking forward to ideas for implementation in a wide range of fields such as design, engineering, medical care, economics, architecture, art, and society.
Submission Items and Process First Review: Written Plan Submit your design ideas using the entry form as provided. You can download the entry form from the submission page. Second Review: Proposal + Supplementary materials You can refine your proposal and send in additional supplementary materials of any size and pages in PDF format to the secretariat. Details will be communicated to the shortlisted applicants from the first review. Final Review: In-person Presentation Those who pass the Second Review will be asked to give a presentation via the online conferencing system.
Schedule (Japan Time) ※The deadline for applications has been extended to September 20, 2020
First Review
May 15 - September 20, 2020
Notification of First Review Results
September 30, 2020
Preparation for the Second Review
October 1-8, 2020
Notification of the Second Review Results
October 15, 2020
Preparation for the Final Judging
October 16-30, 2020
Final Presentation and Awards Ceremony
November 10, 2020
Rights and Rules Concerning Entries 1. Attribution to rights holder and rules applied to the entrant’s work
The copyright for the submitted work and other intellectual property rights belong to the entrant.
However, regardless of whether or not the entrant is involved in this competition, with regard to advertising and other work by the organizer of this competition, consent is implied for non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and free-of-charge use of all works related to this competition in Japan and other countries.
Entrants will not exercise the author’s moral rights concerning work related to this competition against use of the work by the organizer of this competition.
2. Rules concerning plagiarism in entries
For all entries, applicants themselves must confirm the entries do not infringe on third parties’ copyrights, intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or other rights.
Entries must be original works for which the entrant has all rights. If these entry conditions are not met, the application may be rejected.
If there is suspicion of plagiarism concerning a submitted work, the organizer of this competition may request to speak with the applicant as well as request submission of relevant documentation. If these actions do not resolve the suspicion of plagiarism, the organizer may cancel the entry at its discretion.


What kind of design can I submit?

Any genre of design is accepted. This not only includes design involving color and shape, but also design of services and social systems. We are seeking viable proposals that can help achieve the aims of the SDGs.

This is, however, limited to works that can be put into practical use (e.g., through commercialization).

Entries must be original and must not infringe on a third party's image rights, intellectual property rights, or other rights. If such infringement is found, the application will be voided, or the award will be revoked, even after it is announced.

Please note that the organizer of this award is not responsible for any complaints or disputes arising in relation to the entry.

Are there any specific requirements for the entry form?

When applying for the First Review, please be sure to use "entry form format" provided. Works not entered in the default format will not be considered. You can choose either to use the Word or PDF format. Submit one format only and adhere to one A3 size page limit.

How many entries can I submit?

One person/group can submit as many entries as they like.

It is also possible to apply simultaneously for any of the themes and a corporate grant. There may also be multiple awards for one person/group, as each idea will be subject to separate review.

Can I apply as a group?

Individuals and groups can apply. When applying as a group, enter the group name and representative name.

What language(s) can I apply in?

Either in English or Japanese for the first review.

Can I apply even if I am not specializing in design at school?

Yes, even if you only have an interest in design but do not specialize in it, you can apply.

Any student from the university, graduate school, vocational institution or high school can apply.

Working students are also eligible to apply.

Can I ask you questions about the contents of my work when I apply?

In principle, we will not reply to such questions. Please design freely according to the given theme.​​

How will you conduct the review?

For both the first and second reviews, the SDGs Design International Awards 2020 Executive Committee and the award judges will strictly review entries in accordance with the review criteria.

We will not provide details on the process or specifics of the review.

Corporate Awards will be independently reviewed by each sponsor company, considering the target audience.

How will you announce those who pass the first review?

We will announce the results on this website at or after the end of September 2020. Those who passed will be notified via the email address they used for their entry.

Will you release any of the works?

The organizers may also use works that have passed the first review and progressed to the second in public relations activities related to these awards.


Solicited works may be used for publicity activities.

Entries may be disclosed to each department within the organizer’s organization and its research partners. The organizer may also contact the applicant to ask about the entry.

All expenses related to the entry (e.g., creating materials, creating actual works) will be borne by the applicant.

Please be aware the final presentation, announcement, and award ceremony will be filmed and edited, and will be publicly available on the official website.

If you receive the Corporate Award, you may be required to make a contract with the sponsoring company. If such a contract cannot be concluded, the award may be revoked.

Entrants must affirm consent to the entry guidelines. Please also note that if the guidelines are not observed, at whatever stage of the entry, the entry may be refused.

Entered works cannot be returned.

Inquiries regarding application status will not be replied to.

Please review the Personal Information Protection Policy for matters in that regard as relates to these awards.