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Prism award winners tackle disease detection, food safety and precision manufacturing

Credit: SPIE/Photonics Media

Nine new products providing valuable new capabilities in detecting disease, assessing water or food quality, and enabling advanced precision manufacturing have been named winners of the 2017 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation.

The award ceremony took place during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco at a gala banquet that has become the largest annual global gathering of CEOs, VIPs, and entrepreneurs in photonics.

The Prism Awards were introduced to recognise innovative products that are newly available on the open market. Categories have been added, removed, and updated over time to reflect trends in the industry. Entries were judged by an independent panel of experts including industry executives, leading academic researchers, venture capitalists, and past Prism Award winners.

The winning companies and products included:

  • Additive manufacturing/3D Printing: 
      • PolarOnyx (USA) Tungsten LAM – femtosecond fibre laser 3D printer, combining additive and subtractive manufacturing
  • Biomedical instrumentation: 
      •  Rapid Biosensor Systems (UK) TB Breathalyser – disposable medical device for a fast test for active infectious tuberculosis, offering simplicity, low cost, and accuracy
  • Detectors and sensors:
      • ALPhANov (France) GoSpectro – connects to a smartphone to characterise light sources in a matter of seconds, enabling material or chemical analysis in liquids associated with colour-based reagents to assess water or food quality
  • Imaging and cameras: 
      • TruTag Technologies (USA) Model 4100 handheld hyperspectral imager – captures and processes a full multi-megapixel hyperspectral datacube without utilising external processing, to decode the provenance of pills, foods, and embedded objects
  • Industrial lasers:
      • QD Laser (Japan) 1030- and 1064nm ultra-short pulsed seeder for fibre laser – enables nonthermal precise microprocessing and provides strong competitive light source to mode-locked lasers
  • Materials and coatings: 
      • Crystalline Mirror Solutions (Austria) xtal mir – ultralow-loss mid-IR optical coating based on substrate-transferred single-crystal semiconductor multilayers, enabling discoveries in optical trace gas detection
  • Metrology: 
      • Leica Geosystems (Switzerland) BLK360 – laser scanner enables 360° reality capture for virtual retailing, space mapping, or  stage calibration for film and visual arts, within minutes
  • Optics and optical components:
      • Nufern (USA) NuBEAM Flat-top fibre technology – effective beam shaping and beam control offer easy integration, efficient light transmission, robustness, small footprint, low maintenance, cost-effectiveness, for material processing, illumination, detection, defense, and medicine
  • Scientific Lasers: 
      • Thorlabs (USA) Mid-infrared supercontinuum laser – femtosecond fiber laser pumped MIR SC source offers wavelength coverage from 1.2µm to almost 5µm with high repetition rate, with applications in environmental sensing of greenhouse gases to standoff detection in the field.

‘Photonics technology drives so much of global and local economies and changes lives everywhere in so many ways,’ commented SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. ‘This year’s Prism Awards entries have moved the industry forward with their impressive new inventions. It is fitting that we celebrate the winning products, and indeed all the entries, during SPIE Photonics West. Events such this are essential to the industry’s ability to serve society effectively.’ 

‘Today, these Prism Award winners provide a striking preview of what is still to come. From the rapid screening of infectious diseases to 3D robot vision to additive manufacturing and so much more, they are already transforming tomorrow,’ added Tom Laurin, president and CEO of Laurin Publishing, who co-sponsored the event.

The full list of finalists can be found here.


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