Entries are open for the Cannes Lions, the most prestigious awards for the creative industries. And this year there is a new category for innovation. The festival, which takes place in France, will run from 16 - 22 June 2013.

Cannes Lions

From 25 January, the Cannes Lions will be open for entries into any of their 16 categories which include Branded Content & Entertainment Lions, Creative Effectiveness Lions, Cyber Lions, Design Lions, Direct Lions, Film Craft Lions, Film Lions, Press Lions, Media Lions, Mobile Lions, Outdoor Lions, Promo & Activation Lions, PR Lions, Radio Lions, Titanium & Integrated Lions, and the brand new Innovation Lions.

Also launching this year is the inaugural Innovation Lions has been designed to reward technologies and innovations. Lions will be awarded to such things as the most innovative platforms, apps, tools, programs, hardware, products, and radical software, amongst others, which allow brands and creatives to communicate with their customers in a new way, or which stand alone as significant innovations in their own right.

The Innovation Lion will honour more than a campaign or communications idea. It could be SaaS (software as a service), a new mobile platform, or a revolutionary piece of software that enables a new kind of customer engagement.

The innovations that enter must have a proof of concept. Pre-development ideas/concepts are not eligible; entrants must clearly demonstrate the technology. "We are looking for technology that has already been developed, and is ready to be used as part of a creative execution or launched as a new product or service," says Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals. Shortlisted entrants will explain and present their technology to the dedicated jury in Cannes, with all sessions being open for delegates to watch.

In another development, The Media Agency of the Year Award has been realigned so that only a media agency or media department of a full service ad agency will be eligible to win the award in the future.

Advertising agencies, clients, media owners and others can continue to enter and win a Media Lion but the involvement of the media agency or media department will become a mandatory field on the entry form. "The reality is that Media Lions should reward tactical media planning and placement and these changes will reflect that," says Terry Savage, Chairman of Lions Festivals.

From this year, the Palme d'Or Award, presented to the best Production Company, will also take into account points accumulated for shortlisted and winning entries in the Branded Content & Entertainment category in addition to those earned in the Film and Craft Categories.

The line-up of jury presidents and jurors are set to meet in Cannes to judge entries into the 60th anniversary Festival, which this year takes place between 16 and 22 June.

All of the winners will be revealed and announced across four Awards Ceremonies, which will happen throughout the Festival week:

•Monday 17 June – Creative Effectiveness, Direct, PR and Promo & Activation Lions Awards

•Tuesday 18 June – Innovation, Media, Mobile and Outdoor Lions Awards

•Wednesday 19 June – Cyber, Design, Press and Radio Lions Awards

•Saturday 22 June – Branded Content & Entertainment, Film, Film Craft, and Titanium & Integrated Lions Awards

All entries, across all categories, will be available to view in the Palais des Festivals at screenings and in interactive kiosks, providing delegates with an unbeatable opportunity to see over 30 000 pieces of creative advertising and communication from across the globe.

All of the shortlisted and winning work will also be exhibited and screened throughout the Festival.

Key dates for entering the awards are as follows:

•Creative Effectiveness Lions deadline: 1 March 2013

•Deadline for all other categories: 28 March 2013

This year, the 60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is set to take place from 16 to 22 June 2013.

As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 34 300 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival.

Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, a global benchmark of creative excellence, for Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Content & Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR, Titanium and Creative Effectiveness ideas.

Lions Festivals is the organiser of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and Eurobest as well as co-organisers, with its joint venture partners, of Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity, Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity, Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness, and the Digital Asia Festival.

Further information on how to submit work, including tips from the jury room and category assistance, can be found online at www.canneslions.com/awards.