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Startups and big-hitters make Prism Award shortlist

20 Nov 2017

Blue and UV lasers, mid-infrared analyzers, systems for glaucoma and cancer diagnosis, and automotive lidar technology among 30 finalists.

Thirty photonics technologies tipped to make an impact across a raft of applications in the industrial, medical, and security and defense sectors have made the finals of the tenth edition of the Prism Awards.

Organized by optics.org publisher SPIE and Photonics Media each year since 2009, the awards are intended to recognize and celebrate cutting-edge innovation by photonics technology developers large and small.

For the 2018 awards, whose winners will be revealed following a gala dinner during the forthcoming SPIE Photonics West event in San Francisco, more than 100 applicants have been whittled down to 29 different companies short-listed in ten technology categories.

Quantum cascade laser (QCL) company Daylight Solutions – a winner at the inaugural Prism Awards and now a subsidiary of defense giant Leonardo – is a finalist in two categories this time around, thanks to its ‘ChemDetect’ liquid analyser and ‘Spero-QT’ imaging microscope. Both technologies that take advantage of QCLs for mid-infrared spectroscopy.

Among the other finalists are big-hitters like Lumileds and Osram in the “illumination and light sources” category, who will be up against SoraaLaser – the university spin-out company co-founded by blue LED pioneer and Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura.

The “imaging and cameras” category sees Daylight’s Spero-QT microscope for chemical and biochemical analysis up against the venture-backed automotive lidar startup Luminar Technologies with its ‘Model-G’ system, and defense giant Teledyne Dalsa’s ‘Piranha4’ linescan polarization camera for high-speed machine vision.

In “life science instrumentation”, Korea-based TomoCube, whose ‘HT-2’ imager combines holography with fluorescence for living cell analysis, is short-listed alongside neaspec’s super-resolution ‘neaSNOM’ microscope, and Quantumcyte’s ‘Q1-ArraySeQ’ single-cell sequencer for cancer diagnosis.

The full list of 2018 finalists is as follows:

Detectors and Sensors
NKT Photonics: LIOS EN.SURE Long Range DTS & RTTR
Princeton Infrared Technologies: LineCam12
Xenics: XLIN FC 2048

Environmental Monitoring
Block Engineering: LaserWarn Analyzer
Blue Industry and Science: X-FLR8 V2
Daylight Solutions: ChemDetect Mid-IR Liquid Analyzer

Illumination and Light Sources
Lumileds: Lumileds LUXEON 3535L HE Plus
Osram: SFH 4735
SoraaLaser: LaserLight Fiber Module

Imaging and Cameras
Daylight Solutions: Spero-QT
Luminar Technologies: Model-G 3D LiDAR
Teledyne Dalsa: Piranha4 Polarization Line Scan Camera

Lasers
Class 5 Photonics: Supernova OPCPA
KMLabs: Y-Fi OPA
OptoRes: NG-FDML

Life Science Instrumentation
Neaspec: cryoneaSNOM
QuantumCyte: Q1-ArraSeQ
TomoCube: HT-2

Material Processing and Additive Manufacturing
Han’s Laser: Multi-axis & High-precision UV-Laser System for PVD Ablation Processing
LIMO: Activation Line UV-L750
Nuburu: AO-150

Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics
ContinUse Biometrics: SmartHealth Mod
Lightpoint Medical: LightPath Imaging System
Lumedica: OQ LabScope

Optics and Optomechanical Components
AdlOptica: foXXus
Optotune: MR-15-30 Dual Axis Mirror
Spectrolight: Flexible Wavelength Selector

Test and Measurement
Gamma Scientific: GS-1290-NED Near Eye Display Measurement System
Si-Ware Systems: NeoSpectra Micro
Spheryx: xSight

Commenting on the latest crop of potentially disruptive technologies, SPIE’s CEO Eugene Arthurs said: “Ten years in, the Prism Awards are casting an even wider light on the photonics industry. Each year, categories for the awards are driven by the innovations entered, providing direct insight into thriving and emerging ‘hot’ markets.”

Arthurs added that this year’s decision to include two categories relating to biomedical technologies – in the form of Life Science Instrumentation and Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics - illustrated the current vitality of the field.

“Also new this year are categories for inventions in Environmental Monitoring and for Illumination and Light Sources - very timely as the world continues to work toward more sustainable energy sources and devices,” he noted.

Among those presenting the awards in San Francisco will be the Hamamatsu Photonics president and CEO Akira Hiruma, Trumpf CTO Peter Leibinger, and former Lockheed Martin senior executive Ray Johnson.

Nanoscribe GmbHSpectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI OpticsInfraTec GmbHAltechnaBRD Optical Co., LtdNUBURU IncSensofar
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