Li Innovation Prize (CLEO)

Recognizing the top early career members innovative ideas at CLEO.

Program Prize

USD 3,000

The prize is presented to an early career professional who has demonstrated innovative ideas in their accepted paper to CLEO, the premier conference for lasers and electo-optics.

Application Information

How to Apply

Submit a paper to CLEO and opt into the competition. Learn more on the conference website.

Important Dates

The submitting author must opt-in to the competition during the regular paper submission process and follow all of the instructions provided on the submission site.
Paper Submission Deadline: 02 December 2021

Applicant Requirements
  • Have an accepted paper to CLEO or a Post Deadline Paper (PDP) and must have "opted in" during the submission process
  • Be eligible applicant is no older than the age of 39 during the calendar year in which the prize is given
  • Be responsible for, and exhibit innovative ideas in, their research
  • Agree to let the Optica Foundation use their picture, name and story in program marketing opportunities.
Application Requirements

The submitting author must opt-in to the competition during the regular paper submission process.

2021 Selection Committee

The recipient is selected by the CLEO conference chairs.

2021 Recipient

Yating Wan
University of California Santa Barbara

Wan received the prize for her paper "1.3 µm regrown quantum-dot distributed feedback lasers on Si: a pathway to scale towards 1 Tbit/s." This innovative work offers a path towards high-volume, low-cost commercial transceivers enabled by silicon photonics. It is one of the many technical advances she has demonstrated in integrated photonics.

Past Recipients

  • Julia Gessner, National Institute of Standards & Technology, USA (CLEO - 2020)
  • Di Che, Nokia Bell Labs, USA (OFC - 2020)
  • Shai Tsesses, Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, Isreal (2019)
  • Eric Numkam Fokoua, University of Southampton, UK (2019)
  • Benjamin Lee, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA (2018)
  • Logan G. Wright, Cornell University, USA (2018)
  • Tetsuya Hayashi, Sumitomo Electric, Japan (2017)
  • Yoshitomo Okawachi, Columbia Univ., USA (2017)
  • Marcus Seidel, Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany (2016)
  • Kohki Shibahara, NTT, Japan (2016)
  • Tae Joon Seok, University of California, Berkeley, USA (2015)
  • Antonietta De Sio, Universitat Oldenburg, Germany (2015)


This honor is endowed by Alliance Fiber Optic Products, Inc., AT&T, Optica, the IEEE Photonics Society, the IEEE Communications Society, Thorlabs, Inc., the Li family and supporters of the Tingye Li Memorial Fund.

About the Endowment

Established in 2013, the Li Innovation Prize honors the global impact Tingye Li made to laser science and optical fiber communications.