Winners named for 2014 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation

Product innovations include new tools for healthcare, manufacturing, security, 3D display

06 February 2014

Philip Stahl at Prism Awards banquet

SPIE President Philip Stahl welcomed industry leaders to the annual gala Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation banquet.


SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA -- The ubiquitous and many-purposed applications of light-based technology were in the spotlight Wednesday night, as nine companies were recognized for their outstanding new products in the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation.

Winners included innovative new tools that improve the accuracy of medical devices, expand the capabilities of 3D printing and manufacturing systems, improve the ability to detect hazardous substances, and enable the next generation of 3D video projection.

Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Photonics Media, the annual awards recognize photonic products that break with conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through the application of light-based technologies. The awards ceremony was attended by 340 industry executives, analysts, technologists, and investors from around the world.

The winners in nine categories represent large and small companies from five countries. Results were determined by a panel of expert judges, and announced by presenters from leading companies across the photonics industry.

While photonics technology has an important role in improving quality of life, its applications have a vital economic impact as well, noted SPIE CEO Dr. Eugene Arthurs.

"We have more than 4,700 technical presentations at this year's Photonics West. More than 21,000 author-researchers contributed to the work presented. That represents an impressive amount of people hours -- very bright people hours," he said. "One could reasonably value the research effort at over $100 million dollars."

It is when products result that this enormous intellectual effort makes a real impact, Arthurs noted.

"Our Prism Awards recognize the outstanding products that have emerged from ideas, concepts and the distillation of networking at previous conferences," he said. "Smart, persistent believers ensured that these ideas survived the valleys of desolation and have come to market. I compliment and thank our judges for their dedication to studying the many submissions, selecting finalists, and the difficult task of picking winners from so many winners!"

Laurin Publishing CEO Tom Laurin also praised the winners creativity. "It is our great pleasure to collaborate annually with SPIE to present the Prism Awards, and we congratulate the 2014 winners and all the finalists," he said. "It is wonderful to witness the ongoing innovation from companies that have been part of the industry for years, as well as to support the emerging organizations and individuals shaping the future of the photonics industry."

Winners are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing: Nanoscribe Gmbh (Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany), for the Photonic Professional GT (PPGT), based on TPP, the most accurate and fastest 3D laser lithography system commercially available. Presenter was Homer Antoniadis, Global Technology Director, DuPont.
  • Defense and Security: Hübner GmbH & Co. KG (Kassel, Germany), for the T-COGNITION, a stand-alone terahertz spectrometer that automatically detects and identifies hazardous substances in mail; developed in collaboration with Fraunhofer IPM. Presenter was Jim Oschmann, Ball Aerospace, Vice President and General Manager, Civil Space and Technology, Ball Aerospace.
  • Detectors, Sensing, Imaging, and Cameras: Tornado Spectral Systems (Toronto, Canada), for the OCTANE-860, a small, inexpensive and robust spectrometer on a silicon chip designed for full-featured OCT imaging.  Presenter was Brian Lula, President and CEO of PI Physik Instrumente LP.
  • Industrial Lasers: V-Gen Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel), for the VPFL-ISP-1-40-HE-50000, the ytterbium fiber laser with the shortest pulsewidth, highest peak power, and highest pulse energy. Presenter was Reinhart Poprawe, Director, Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik.
  • Life Science and Biophotonics: AccuVein Inc. (Huntington, New York, USA), for the AV400 Vein Viewing System, a handheld, augmented-reality laser camera that detects and projects a vein map on a patient's skin. Presenter was Babak Parviz, Google Glass Project Lead, Google X, and University of Washington.
  • Optics and Optical Components: Compass Electro-Optical Systems (Milpitas, California, USA), for the r10004 Router, the first design to allow for a full mesh architecture and an ASIC-to-ASIC link using an optical interconnect. Presenter was Mario Paniccia, General Manager Silicon Photonics Operation, Intel.
  • Other Light Sources: Necsel (Milpitas, California, USA), for the Frequency Converted Green Laser Array, offering the first RGB laser solution in 3D digital cinema projection. Presenter was Barbara Paldus, CEO, Finesse Solutions.
  • Scientific Lasers: Hübner GmbH & Co. KG (Kassel, Germany), for the C-WAVE, the first coherent continuous-wave source able to be tuned across the visible range without change of materials; developed in collaboration with Fraunhofer IPM. Presenter was Gisele Maxwell, CEO, Shasta Crystals.
  • Test, Measurement, Metrology: Si-Ware Systems (Cairo, Egypt), for the MEMS FT-IR Spectrometer, the first alignment-free, calibration-free, and shock-resistant FT-IR module on a chip scale. Presenter was Paul Johnson, Executive Director of Global Optics, Photop Technologies.

More information about products, companies, and the competition is online at

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves more than 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.


Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478