By the time most of you read this, Photonics Media and SPIE will be in the midst of planning the 2009 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation – the second year of what we consider to be the industry’s most prestigious awards for advances in photonics products and technology.As they were last year, the 2009 awards will be presented during SPIE’s Photonics West, only this time the ceremony will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center from Jan. 23-28, 2010. Nine winners will be honored for excellence in the following categories:• Analytical Test and Measurement• Detectors, Sensing and Imaging• Optics• Lasers• Other Light Sources• Photonics Systems• Photonics Processes• Sustainable/Green Technology• Life SciencesBack in the fall of 2008, we had an independent panel of 23 judges who are regarded as experts in their fields. Each one painstakingly reviewed and analyzed the applications, assigning rankings compiled according to a list of criteria. During that time, the organizers took every precaution necessary to sensitively address the many details involved in creating awards and, to that end, we believe that we have developed a competition that is distinct from all others.Science and technology awards exist in a number of areas, but in an industry like ours, where invention, instinct and knowledge have engendered a strong global market, we have been confident in taking on the challenge of determining and honoring the winners. We understood from the first that collaboration between a strong society and a strong media partner would very effectively select and call attention to the best of the best.More than 300 industry professionals attended our first awards celebration in January this year. We expect that even more in 2010 will witness the winners sporting the crystal prism awards that signify their accomplishments.If you were with us last year, we would be pleased to welcome you back. If you are a newcomer, please join us as by entering the competition today. You can find more information at photonicsprismaward.com. The application deadline is Sept. 22, 2009.