Doug Bedell — November 28, 2007, 9:52 am

A Big-Time Prize for Security Innovations

The importance of security industry research and development has reached the point where a hefty annual prize is awarded for breakthroughs in the field.

This year’s winner at the Global Security Challenge competition in London – a nigh-vision camera – won a $500,000 prize for its developer, NoblePeak Vision Corporation, of Wakefield, Mass.

In reporting on the contest, SecurityInfoWatch.com notes that “more than $6 billion of investment has flowed into private security and defense businesses in the United States and Europe so far this year, up from some $3.5 billion in the whole of 2006.”

In light of the growing interest in security products, students at the London Business School staged the first Global Security Challenge competition last year, with a prize of $10,000 (won by an anti-counterfeiting laser-scanner). The U.S. government’s Technical Support Working Group raised this year’s prize to $500,000.

NobelPeak Vision, the winner, was founded in 2002 as a spin-off from Bell Laboratories. Its night-vision camera can pick up short-wave infrared (SWIR) light invisible to the eye, producing black-and-white night-time images much sharper than those generated by thermal video cameras, SecurityInfoWatch.com reports.

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