A maskless lithography system and a research lidar instrument were the European winners at the 2013 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation announced Feb. 7 at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. Overall, 10 companies were presented with awards that evening. Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and EuroPhotonics 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. The Prism Award crystal is presented to outstanding companies in honor of innovation in photonics. Courtesy of SPIE. 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, in which one of the winners was from Europe. Other categories were Manufacturing; Defense and Security; Detectors, Sensing, Imaging and Cameras; Industrial Lasers; Life Sciences and Biophotonics; Optics and Optical Components; Scientific Lasers; and Test, Measurement, Metrology. “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.” Manufacturing: The MicroPG501 Direct-Write Lithography System made by Heidelberg Instruments of Heidelberg, Germany, is a desktop maskless aligner lithography tool that can write small patterns into photoresists without using a photomask, allowing the user to go directly from design to imaging on the substrate. Green Photonics (tie): Leosphere of Orsay, France, won for its R-MAN510. With Raman and dual-polarized channels, the eye-safe, networkable device combines the full performance of sophisticated research lidar with the compact size and low maintenance requirements of cloud ceilometers. The other winner in this category was the ChromaID device from Visualant of Seattle. For the complete listing of winners and more information about them, visit www.photonicsprismawards.org.