BMW i8 Technology Wins 2014 Berthold Leibinger Innovation Award

Dr. Helmut Erdl and Dr. Abdelmalek Hanafi in front oft the BMW i8 with Laserlight 1 photo
Photo: BMW
It’s been a long road reaching this point and managing to launch the world’s first production car fitted with laser lights but the efforts are starting to pay off for BMW and its researchers. The Berthold Leibinger Foundation awarded Dr. Helmut Erdl and Dr. Abdelmalek Hanafi of the BMW Group for the development and implementation of a new high-brightness white light source that enhances the visibility of vehicle drivers. That’s fancy talk for Laser Lights.
The Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize award recognizes and promotes researchers and developers, who take new directions in the application of lasers. The foundation has been awarding the prize every two years since 2000 for excellent research and development work in the application or generation of laser light.

It is one of the most prestigious international innovation awards for laser technology alone and the 11-judge jury is made up of internationally acclaimed scientists and leading managers of technology corporations.

"We are honored to receive this prize that represents the second best laser applications worldwide during the last two years out of 32 applications according to a jury composed of top scientists and industrials. The competition was extremely hard.” said the winners, Erdl and Hanafi after being handed the award.

“Our innovation is indeed a game changer not only in the automotive lighting sector, but in the illumination sector in general.” commented Erdl and Hanafi. “This prize is actually a tribute to the whole automotive sector as well as to the entire contributors to the advances in GaN-based solid state lighting“ they added.

Another prize went to Dr. Alexander A. Oraevsky of Tomo Wave Laboratories Inc. USA for his important work on laser opto-acoustic imaging applied to cancer diagnosis purposes. The third and last award went to Prof. Hwa-yaw Tam, Prof. Siu Lau Ho and Dr. Shun-Yee Michael Liu of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for a laser-sensor network for monitoring railway traffic.
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