Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation honor nine companies for outstanding new products

New photonics-enabled devices and systems have applications in disease diagnostics, drug development, displays, solar power generation, and more

18 February 2016
Prism Awards Lytid
The French firm Lytid was among winners of the 2016 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation announced at a gala banquet on Wednesday during SPIE Photonics West.

SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA -- Nine new products providing valuable new capabilities such as  more effectively identifying drugs to target specific diseases, enhanced detail-rich portable imaging and sensing tools for applications from medical diagnostics to astronomy, and 3D-printing of precision glass have been named winners of the 2016 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. The awards are sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Photonics Media.

Winners from five countries were announced by industry leaders on 17 February during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco at a gala banquet that has become the largest global gathering of CEOs, VIPs, and entrepreneurs in photonics.

Winning companies and products are:

  • Biomedical Instrumentation: Biodesy (USA). The Biodesy Delta utilizes an ultrafast mode-locked Ti:S laser to enable real-time protein analysis with greater sensitivity, lower cost, and high throughput. The optical system is effective in identifying first-in-class medicines against any protein target and enabling drug discovery against protein targets thought to be intractable.
  • Detectors and Sensors: Spectral Engines (Finland). The Wireless IR Analyzer is a miniaturized, robust infrared spectrometer capable of covering IR ranges above 1.7 um with no loss in performance. Fast and stabile operation, integrated data analysis algorithms, and a Bluetooth connection make this device a pocket-sized infrared spectroscopic lab.
  • Displays and Lighting: Dolby, Christie, and Necsel (USA). In the Dolby Vision Cinema Laser Projector, three companies have combined their expertise to create a greatly enhanced premium cinema experience with high contrast, high brightness, a wide color gamut, and excellent 3D performance.
  • Imaging and Cameras: First Light Imaging (France).The C-RED One SWIR camera improves noninvasive detection and diagnostics for diseases and research, and opens a new era in astronomical, biomedical, industry, and defense imagery.
  • Industrial Lasers: LightFab (Germany). The LightFab 3D enables true 3D structures in pure glasses without design limitations, making possible the mass production of micro 3D glass for fields as diverse as optics, precision mechanics, electronics, chemistry, and medicine.
  • Materials and Coatings: Nanoco (UK). Non-toxic, cadmium-free quantum dots enable a broad range of new applications in display and lighting, from high-end televisions and horticulture lighting to bio-imaging and solar.
  • Optics and Optical Components: Boulder Nonlinear Systems (USA). Large-aperture, low- size, weight, and power wide-angle beam steering enable electro-optics technologies for defense, aerospace, energy, automotive, and telecommunications, in applications from small satellites to agile long-range laser systems.
  • Other Metrology Instrumentation: 4D Technology (USA). The FlexCam is a compact, vibration-insensitive, high-resolution 3D metrology module that meets the need for fast, scalable, cost-effective defect and roughness metrology for flexible electronics, including wearable health/fitness monitors, organic LED displays, thin-film solar devices, and low-cost mobile devices.
  • Scientific Lasers: Lytid (France). TeraCascade is a compact, user-friendly, easily transportable, high-frequency terahertz laser source that transforms state-of-the-art quantum cascade laser technology into a user-friendly tool that works with nearly every terahertz detector on the market.

"This year's winning products ingeniously deploy key photonics technologies such as quantum cascade and terahertz lasers, infrared sensing, and 3D printing, placing powerful new capabilities in the hands of users," said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. "They address pressing issues such as the world's need for sustainable energy and light, and clinicians' needs for quickly identifying the best drugs to target challenging diseases in time to saves lives and staunch outbreaks before they become epidemics. Products such as these provide highly effective means of demonstrating the vast potential of photonics technologies to serve humankind as well as to help grow world economies."

"In memory of our founder, Teddi Laurin, who passed away last November, and on behalf of everyone at Laurin Publishing, I'm pleased to join SPIE in recognizing and celebrating the 2016 Prism Awards winners, and sharing their innovations with our global audience," said Laurin Publishing President and CEO Thomas Laurin. "As we contemplate Teddi's impact on our business and on the photonics industry, we are reminded that she understood the need to recognize innovation and to applaud the companies that achieved it."

The Prism Awards were developed to recognize innovative products that are newly available on the open market. Each category is meant to isolate a specific contribution in photonics, in a technology area or sector of the industry. 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.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2015, SPIE provided more than $5.2 million in support of education and outreach programs.

About Photonics Media

Photonics Media, a business unit of Pittsfield, Mass.-based Laurin Publishing Co. Inc., publishes Photonics Spectra, BioPhotonics, EuroPhotonics, Photonics Buyers' Guide and With a collective subscriber base of more than 150,000 worldwide and more than 2 million website visits per year, Laurin Publishing's Photonics Media products and publications lead the photonics industry with editorial excellence and integrity -- fostering a tradition of innovation and progress by sharing knowledge, insights and visions for the future. Learn more at


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