As 2018 came to a close, so did another successful R&D 100 Awards. The winners of the 56th annual R&D 100 Awards—an international competition that recognizes the 100 most exceptional innovations in science and technology from the past year—were revealed
Friday, Nov. 16, during a black-tie awards gala held at Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida.
The R&D 100 Awards have long been considered the most globally prestigious recognition
of invention and innovation, and this year was no exception. Innovators from all over the
globe came to celebrate pioneering products and services in science and technology. The gala
honored all our R&D 100 finalists, as well as Special Recognition and Editor’s Choice awardees.
Congratulations to everyone!
The 2018 R&D 100 Award winners are featured in this issue. As you browse through, take
note of both the developer and the co-developers listed, as collaboration seemed to be the key to
bringing many of these innovations to fruition.
Innovations like Antenna Coupled THz (ACT) Film—a nano-antenna based technology
capable of harvesting industrial waste heat and converting it into usable electricity—and
OARtrac—a first-of-its-kind radiation dose monitoring platform—were both the result of
collaborations between industry and U.S. national laboratories.
Others awardees, such as the Indego—an exoskeleton that provides intelligent gait assistance
to the stroke and spinal cord injured population—are the result of partnerships between
academia and industry, in this case researchers from Vanderbilt University worked with Parker
Hannifin, a global leader in motion and control technologies.
Partnerships between two corporate entities were also amongst this year’s R&D 100 awardees,
such as Dow BETAFORCE 9050M, a composite bonding adhesives for automotive mass
production, created in partnership with Audi.
And of course, even innovations listed with only one developer are often the result of
multidisciplinary team efforts across the organization.
The 2018 R&D 100 Awards gala also honored our 2018 Scientist of the Year, Los Alamos
National Laboratory (LANL) theoretical biologist and HIV researcher Bette Korber, PhD,
(featured in our October issue) as well as our 2018 Innovator of the Year, Josh Tenenbaum, PhD,
a computational cognitive scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Tenenbaum was honored for his unique quest to build more human-like intelligence in
machines by studying the nature and origins of intelligence in the human mind and brain.
Tenenbaum achievements are featured in this issue. Like our R&D 100 awardees, the key
to much of Tenenbaum’s success is collaboration—he works with computer scientists and
engineers as well as neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists, bridging a gap between two
seemingly distinct fields.
In doing so, he has made some impressive strides—including recreating the concept of “
one-shot learning” artificially by designing computer programs capable of learning to recognize new
handwritten characters, as well as certain objects in images, after seeing just a few examples.
We are honored to highlight the research of innovators like Tenenbaum and our entire family
of R&D 100 awardees and are excited to find out what other up-and-coming breakthroughs are
around the corner. Applications are now open for the 2019 R&D 100 Awards. If you have an
exceptional product or service we encourage you to apply at www.rd100conference.com/awards.
Who knows, maybe it will be your innovation we celebrate next!
Editorial Director, Bea Riemschneider
Editor, Laura Panjwani
Digital Reporter, Kenny Walter
Contributing Editor, Tim Studt
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Senior Account Manager, Michael Costantino,
R&D Magazine Editor
Honoring Innovation and
Collaboration at the R&D 100 Awards