Back in 1999 when the editors of Sensors launched the Best of Sensors Expo Awards, its intent was to recognize innovative new products that promised to have a strong impact on the sensing industry. Over the years we've adjusted the program but it's always been about the products. This year I am excited to tell you about the expanded and improved Best of Sensors Award program.
The sensors industry of 2013 looks rather different than that of 1999. A lot more people know that sensors exist, for starters, even if they don't necessarily know how they work. Sensors are used in every industry you can think of, whether it's in the manufacturing of materials and products or built into the products themselves. The sheer variety of types of sensors available now is astonishing, and that doesn't even include the new ones under development and years or decades away from commercialization. Sensors are also being used in novel ways for efficiency, safety, and fun. It's a complex and vibrant industry and we want the show and the awards program to reflect that.
One of the most visible changes to the awards program is the creation of four different categories under the Best of Sensors Expo Awards umbrella. These are the Innovation Award, the Application Award, The Engineers of the Year Award, and the Rising Star Award. The intent with the new program is to recognize not just innovative new products and technologies but also to highlight the ways they are used in the wider world and the people responsible for creating and using them. This week I'll talk about the awards program in general and the Innovation Award in particular. Next week I'll concentrate on the Application Award, and after that I'll talk about the two engineering awards.
The Innovation Award
The Innovation Award is, in its essentials, the same as our traditional Best of Sensors Expo program in that it focuses on new sensor and sensor-related products that exhibit the qualities of timeliness, uniqueness, utility, and that have the potential to change the way people work.
As far as the timeliness requirement goes, in practical terms this means that the nominated products must be commercially available by Sensors Expo 2013. The Innovation Awards program is limited to exhibitors and the nominated product must be on display on the show floor. Companies can nominate multiple products and the nominated products should either be unique or markedly different from other, similar products on the market. The nominated products should also meet a real need and have the potential to change the way people work. It's a tall order, but over the life of the Best of Sensors Expo Awards program, the judges have always been amazed by the variety, usefulness, and cleverness of the nominated products.
If you are interested in submitting a product for the Innovation Awards program, we have a FAQ here and the nomination form is here. If you have questions about the awards program, please send an email to [email protected]. The deadline for nominations is April 5, 2013.