RD 100: Now and Then

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 9:12am

RD100 logo 2012For the R&D Magazine editors, this is both a busy and exciting time. Entries for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards are streaming in as the April 30 deadline approaches. We are fielding many questions about qualifying products, the entry process, and types of information that the judges seek. We also get a close look at the new technologies that are submitted into the competition, as well as the new companies from around the world that enter.

What happens after the entries are submitted? The editors and judges review all entries and select the top 100 technologies introduced in 2011 as 2012 R&D 100 Award winners. Winners will be notified in mid-June. The winning technologies will be announced publically in late June. A complete report, with profiles of all winning technologies, will be published in the September, 2012 print and digital issues of R&D Magazine.

The highlight of the R&D 100 Awards is annual R&D 100 Awards banquet, scheduled this year for Nov. 1, 2012 at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World. The events include an exhibition of winning technologies, reception, and black tie gala where all winners are recognized on stage.

This year, the event takes on special meaning as R&D Magazine marks the 50th anniversary of the R&D 100 Awards. The awards were introduced in 1963 as the IR 100 by Industrial Research magazine—R&D Magazine’s name at that time. The archive of winners from the past 50 years illustrates advances and shifts in science, technology, society, politics, and even fashion. For example, a 1963 photo shows the judges meeting in the proverbial smoke-filled room. Today, judges from around the world review entries remotely, via the Internet.

In the December 2011 issue, the editors initiated at decade-by-decade review of the awards. Thus far, we have looked at the 1960s and 1970s. The 1980s will be revealed in the April issue.  

At this year’s R&D 100 awards banquet, the editors will recognize the past achievements by individuals and organizations, and review the impact on science, technology, and society. We’ve been busy updating our records from past winners and searching for old photos, records, and details about winning technologies and the research teams behind them. We welcome contributions from past winners. Send your story, old photos, and memories to


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