An early-stage diagnostic tool for skin cancers and a portable device to test for toxins in water and food were among 10 winners of the 2013 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation announced Feb. 7 at SPIE Photonics West. Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and BioPhotonics publisher 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. Winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges and included a tie between the top two entries in the particularly competitive Green Photonics category. “This year’s Prism winners serve as inspiring examples of the many ways ubiquitous photonics technologies touch and improve our lives – diagnosing and treating disease, ensuring food hygiene and water purity, maintaining safety in our communities – as well as improve research capabilities to address those and other challenges,” said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE. “While the Prism Awards provide well-deserved recognition for these innovative companies, they also serve to underscore the powerful role of photonics R&D in effecting positive change in the world.” The 2013 winners in biophotonics-related categories follow. Other categories included Defense and Security; Green Photonics; Industrial Lasers; Manufacturing; and Test, Measurement, Metrology. Life Sciences and Biophotonics: The Aura from Verisante Technology of Vancouver is a novel Raman spectroscopy device designed to aid in the early detection of all forms of skin cancer including melanoma, and basal and squamous cell carcinoma. The underlying technology has also shown promise in the early detection of other cancer types, including lung, cervical and colon. Detectors, Sensing, Imaging and Cameras: The IsoPlane SCT Spectrograph from Princeton Instruments of Trenton, N.J., gives researchers the ability to use the full spatial extent of their detectors without loss of spectral or spatial resolution. Optics and Optical Components: From TAG Optics of Princeton, N.J., the ultrahigh-speed TAG Lens 2.0 is a tunable gradient index of refraction device exhibiting aspherical wavefronts with low spherical aberrations for emerging applications in industrial or biomedical imaging, laser microprocessing and metrology. Scientific Lasers: In the Horizon OPO from Continuum Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., spectroscopists have one all-encompassing oscillator tool that allows them to take their experiments through the entire spectrum, instead of using multiple devices. For a complete listing of winners and more information about them, visit: www.photonicsprismawards.org.