Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Nadine Tosk

The Optical Society Names Trojan Technologies the Winner of First ‘Enabled by Optics’ Contest

Campaign highlights industry contributions and student-made videos to raise awareness of the role optics and photonics play in advancing innovation and impacting society

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Ultra violet light technology used in Trojan Technologies water treatment systems. Credit: Trojan Technologies
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2013—The Optical Society (OSA) announced the winners of its new Enabled by Optics contest today.  The program, which is comprised of two tracks — one for companies and the other for students, was designed to raise public awareness of the importance of optics and photonics technologies in furthering innovation and positively impacting society. 
Addressing the topic of “What’s optics got to do with it?” corporate entities each submitted a white paper that highlighted how their optics-driven technology affects everyday life and often serves the greater public good.   Student contestants each created a video that demonstrated how optics is a crucial component to making a commonly used product work.  Entries were judged by a panel of experts, including members of OSA’s Corporate Associates Committee—researchers and business persons working in the optics industry.  Winners are as follows:
First Place - Company Submission
Trojan Technologies of London, Ontario, Canada, was named the winner of the company contest for its innovative water disinfection solutions that use environmentally responsible, cost-effective ultraviolet (UV) light in place of chemicals.  The use of UV disinfection by municipalities around the world prevents the spread of harmful organisms in the water supply and also destroys harmful contaminants.

Honorable Mention - Company Submission
Eyejusters of Oxford, England, received the honorable mention distinction for its SlideLens adjustable lens technology used in producing high-quality, practical, affordable eyeglasses and supporting vision projects in the developing world.

First Place - Student Submission
Sarah Jaye Olivia, a graduate student at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, clinched first place in the student contest for her video “Black and White,” which described the simple, but ingenious product enabled by optics—the laser barcode scanner. The video describes how the technology uses optics and the science of colors to do its everyday job.
“We are grateful for all the companies and students that participated in OSA’s first annual contest, each of whom submitted outstanding white papers and videos showcasing the global impact of optics and photonics,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan.  “The next phase of this campaign is to increase public awareness by using real-life examples of how optics enables everyday technologies.  One example is using ultraviolet light instead of chemicals to treat drinking water for municipalities.  This innovation, which was developed by Trojan Technologies, signifies the importance optics and photonics can have on improving our quality of life.”
Prizes for the first place corporate winner include an extensive outreach campaign featuring the winning technology, along with an OSA-produced video showcasing Trojan Technologies’ UV water treatment system and a customer or end-user experience.  Student winner Olivia will receive a cash prize of $500.  The winners and honorable mention will be recognized at a special ceremony at OSA’s Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics, on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in Orlando, Fla.
“It is a great honor to be the winner of the OSA Enabled by Optics contest, and all of us at Trojan Technologies are pleased by this industry-wide recognition of our ultraviolet light systems for drinking water and protecting public health,” said Marvin DeVries, president, Trojan Technologies. “It is a tribute to the enabling power of optics that we can help our customers meet their water quality objectives with innovative, technology-based and eco-efficient solutions that reduce and recover costs, energy, resources and space.”
Photonics Media, the campaign’s media sponsor, will provide ongoing support and comprehensive worldwide coverage of the winning technologies.  OSA’s annual Enabled by Optics contest provides the foundation for a future online library accessible to policy makers, educators, consumers and students.  This resource will be used to further educate new audiences about the far-reaching impact of optics on everyday life.  

About OSA

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light.  Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in the optics and photonics field. For more information, visit