Launched in 2020, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the event, ECOC introduced the ECOC Exhibition Industry Awards, in conjunction with Optical Connections. The awards emphasise technology and product commercialisation; they highlight significant achievements in advancing the business of optical communications, transport, networking, fibre-based products, photonic integration circuits and related developments.

The committee reviewed the progress of advanced technologies from research to commercialisation including volume production as well as new and innovative products.

Industry Awards in 2021

The awards will once again be run in conjunction with Optical Connections and will be announced at ECOC Product Focus sessions in September 2021.

Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now open and further details on how to enter can be found below.

ECOC Exhibition Industry Awards 2021 



Award categories

Best Fibre/ Fibre Component Product

Fibre and its connectivity are among the forefront of optical communications technologies. This award identifies technology, product, or process innovations that distinguishes and/or drives lower cost, improve ease of installation, improve reliability, increase connectivity density and scalability. Innovative fibre designs, fibre management systems, fibre adapters, trays, modules and connection systems.

Data Centre Innovation/ Best Product

Broad based. Patch panels, switches, transceivers, servers, fibre, etc. Demonstrate lower cost, lower power consumption, thermal management commercial viability. Innovative packaging/line card and co-packaging solutions. SW solutions that increase security efficiency and can help reducing footprint and power consumption.

Innovative FTTx Product

This should be broad-based. Fibre, connectivity, installation, transmission gear, high speed, environmental design, etc.. HW and SW solutions to increase bandwidth capacity, its management and overall scalability.


Most Innovative Product

Looking across the industry—what new product is driving change in its respective market segment. What’s timely and helping to increase the use of optics. Metrics would include design features that are photonics, electronics, thermal, mechanical, chemical, environmental and carbon footprint based.

Optical Integration  (SiPh and/or other)

Photonic integration has been identified as a path to lower cost, lower power consumption, and higher throughput. Silicon photonics has been in the centre of this debate. This aware is technology agnostic. We are looking for technologies that integrate (hybrid or monolithic) numerous optical functions to increase capacity while lowering cost and power consumption. A critical part of this award is revenue—the product is shipping for revenue.

Optical Transport Award

Optical networking continues to focus on higher capacity to lower transmission cost. Higher speed, modulation/coding, longer reach, higher wavelength density, multiplexing schemes. Innovative use of electronics and software to enable more competitive photonics solutions in the network. Advanced designs that permit for example: longer reach, higher capacity with fault tolerant, error correcting, dispersion management system design. Use of higher performance optical components and co-packaging designs to enable multi-100s Tbps capacities in switches and routers.

How to Enter

Once you have decided on the award (s) you would like to enter, the awards committee would like to see a 1-page summary, which answers the following:
What has been done?
What’s the significant commercial contribution?
What’s the outlook?
What is the competitive positioning?
Please include a description of challenges that might create headwind

Clean, clear, simple descriptions, examples, and facts, where possible. The awards committee needs to be able to verify the claims in some way so the submissions have to provide a level of evidence of the success or progress of the development.

Submit your entry information to by 2nd July 2021.

2020  Award Winners…

Photonic integration has been identified as a path to lower cost, lower power consumption, and higher throughput. Silicon photonics is at the centre of this debate, but, as VP of Marketing Tom Williams told us as he accepted the award on behalf of Acacia, the industry wasn’t initially convinced it was compatible with coherent applications. Williams said the vision of Acacia in silicon photonics technology – the company is involved in 3D siliconization technology – is a big impetus for the their success in the field.

Watch our interview with Tom Williams, VP of Marketing at Acacia

We welcomed Ciena’s Helen Xenos to accept the award which recognises innovative use of electronics and software to enable more competitive photonics solutions in the optical network. Xenos highlighted the industry first programmable 800G coherent solution, Ciena’s WaveLogic 5, and its ability to enable network providers to scale networks for higher capacity and save costs.

Watch our interview with Helen Xenos, Ciena

For the industry-wide award, Infinera took home the prize. Awarded to a new product that is driving change in its respective market segment, the winner needed to be a timely product that’s helping to increase the use of optics. Dave Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Infinera, told us how the company’s offerings do just that during his acceptance speech.

Watch our interview with Dave Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Infinera

II-VI scooped the award, a broad-based category for products such as patch panels, switches, transceivers, servers, fiber that demonstrate lower cost, lower power consumption, thermal management, and commercial viability. Dr Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO, accepted the award on behalf of II-VI, thanking the panel for recognising the company’s innovation and saying it was a “significant” win for them.

Watch our interview with Dr Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO, II-VI

  • Winner of our Innovative FTTx Product Award – Huawei

Huawei‘s AI-Enhanced AirPON solution is the industry’s first end-to-end FTTH fast construction solution, winning the award for Innovative FTTx Product.

Find out about the new Industry Awards in our interview with Daryl Inniss