Lab Canada

International innovation prize celebrates light

Ditzingen, Germany – The non-profit foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung has issued a call for applications for the Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize, which honours inventions or technical developments in applied laser technology. Applications and nominations are being accepted through December 31.


The call for the innovation prize falls during the UNESCO’s International Year of Light. Light is not only essential for nearly all life on earth, it is also unparalleled in its influence in culture, and yet the impact of light is mostly underestimated. One aspect which is truly pivotal to our lives is the technical application of light. Such applications include information and communication technology, sensors and measurement, medicine and biotechnology, material processing, illumination and imaging. Laser light is increasingly used in all of these fields, in every day products, as well as in labs, medical centres, and factories. It is found in infrastructures above and below ground as well as in space. Laser light is everywhere and innovations with this technology receive distinction and special recognition with the Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis.


At the award ceremony on September 9, 2016 in Ditzingen, Germany, 30,000 euros for the first prize, 20,000 euros for the second prize and 10,000 euros for the third prize will be awarded. At the same time, the private foundation will award an individual with the prestigious Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis for laser research accompanied by a monetary award of 30,000 euros. Candidates can be nominated by scientific societies and groups as well as professional associations from around the world that focus on lasers or photonics.


A jury of ten international experts will choose the prize winners as well as up to eight finalists for the innovation prize. The members of the 2016 jury are: Dr. Hermann Gerlinger (Carl Zeiss AG), Prof. Dr. Qihuang Gong (Peking University), Prof. Dr. Theodor Hänsch (Max Planck Institue for Quantum Optics / Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann, (acatech), Prof. Dr. Ursula Keller (ETH-Zurich), Prof. Dr. H. Jeffrey Kimble (California Institute of Technology), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Marquardt (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Dr. John Stuart Nelson (Beckman Laser Institute), Prof. Dr. Katarina Svanberg (Lund University Medical Laser Centre) and Prof. Dr. Michael Zäh (Technische Universität München).


Finalists are invited to the jury session in May 2016 to present their innovations personally. Travel expenses are paid by the foundation.


Those eligible to apply or to be nominated for the innovation prize are individuals and project groups worldwide whose innovation’s main development efforts and market potential lies in the application of laser light or the development of laser devices. Submitted work must be completed and disclosure must not be restricted. Applications may be submitted by post or electronically, in English. Both individual applications and well-supported nominations are allowed for the innovation prize.


The international Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize has been granted every other year since the year 2000. The Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis for research in applied laser technology has been awarded since 2006.


Details regarding the laser prizes and the foundation are available at