The Berthold Leibinger Foundation awarded Dr. Helmut Erdl and Dr. Abdelmalek Hanafi of BMW Group the second innovation prize. The award recognizes the candidates for the development and implementation of a new high-brightness white light source that enhances the visibility of vehicle drivers. On June 5th, the BMW i8 with laser-based lighting systems were delivered to customers.

“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 Erdl and Hanafi.


“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“ added Erdl and Hanafi.

Dr. Alexander A. Oraevsky of Tomo Wave Laboratories Inc. USA is the 2014 first innovation prize winner in recognition of his important work on laser opto-acoustic imaging applied to cancer diagnosis purposes. Prof. Hwa-yaw Tam, Prof. Siu Lau Ho and Dr. Shun-Yee Michael Liu of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University are the third innovation prize winners for a laser-sensor network for monitoring railway traffic.


The Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize has been awarded every two years since 2002 for outstanding achievement in the development of forward-looking laser-light applications.

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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. The jury of 11 judges is made up of internationally acclaimed scientists and leading managers of technology corporations.

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