Awards History

R&D 100 Awards History

The R&D 100 Awards have not always been known by that name. Established in 1963, the awards were originally called the I-R 100s, in keeping with the original name of the magazine, Industrial Research. In that first year, a panel of judges reviewed new product introductions (no entries were required) and selected the winners from U.S. companies. A formal entry procedure was established in 1964; the magazine’s editors (with the advice of outside experts) selected the winners. The first winners' technologies were awarded in 1965.
The deep history of the awards program has meant that many of what once were cutting-edge technologies such the flashcube (1965) and the fax machine (1975) are now antiquated devices without a lot of use today. But many innovations, from halogen lamps (1974) to HDTV (1998), look to have considerable staying power. Of course, these are just the consumer-level products. More recent breakthroughs that have earned R&D 100 Awards include:
  • Automotive radar for detecting pedestrians (2014)
  • Concrete cloth (2012)
  • 3D-printed robotic hand (2012)
  • All-plastic vehicular bridge (2011)
  • Compostable food packaging (2010)
  • Artificial retina (2009)
  • Soy-based automotive seating foam (2009)
  • Pay-by-cellphone system (2009)
  • Automotive LED headlamps (2008)
  • Scooba floor washing robot (2006)
  • Biotech corn (2005)
  • Triple-tred automotive tires (2005)
  • Racetrack safety barriers (2005)
  • Body scanner for custom apparel (2004)
  • Switchable smart windows (2004)
  • Fetal electrocardiograms (2004)
  • Spray-on structural cement (2004)
  • Magnetically levitating system (2004)
  • Electronically adjustable snow skis (2003)
  • Infant drug inhaler (2003)
  • Biological 3D printer (2003)
  • Automotive variable steering (2003)