Welcome!

Press Release

Bell Labs Launches the Bell Labs Prize Dedicated to ‘Inventing the Future’

In 50th anniversary celebration of the seminal cosmic background radiation discovery

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), today celebrated the 50th anniversary of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the "Big Bang" theory of the origin of the universe. This discovery in 1964 by Bell Labs scientists Arno Penzias and Robert A. Wilson earned the researchers a Nobel Prize in Physics and provided the basis for future astronomical discoveries.

On the occasion of this celebration, Bell Labs is launching a program to expand the scope of innovation at Bell Labs, in keeping with being the world's pre-eminent research organization in the field of information and communications networking. At the heart of this program is the introduction of the Bell Labs Prize, a competition that will give any researcher, in participating countries around the globe, the chance to introduce their ideas to the world, and collaborate with world-renowned Bell Labs researchers. The Bell Labs Prize winners will take home cash awards worth as much as $100,000, and the chance to further develop their ideas at Bell Labs, where possible. At the heart of the Prize, are some of Bell Labs core convictions that highlight its new direction and mission including:

  • The desire to collaborate with the global innovation community (both inside and outside Bell Labs)

• Researchers and innovators need to be focused on the great challenges that will enable the future 10 years from now, that means to solve problems that require a 10x improvement (or more) in multiple dimensions
• These solutions are at the heart of Bell Labs focus on 10x game-changing research and cross-discipline ‘FutureX' projects that attempt to solve the big problems (many with currently unknown answers to ‘x')

In addition to the unveiling of the Bell Labs Prize, plans for a new remote Bell Labs office near Tel-Aviv, Israel were also announced today by Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes.

"I am excited to see the ideas that come to light through this process, and to introduce many talented young scientists and engineers into the Bell Labs community," said Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent. "They will be joining some of the brightest scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the world, who continue to develop world-changing innovations."

Today's Big Bang Bash celebration will take place at Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the shadow of the "Horn Antenna", which historically served NASA's passive satellite program, Project ECHO, and was also instrumental in the Big Bang discovery. In attendance were Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, as well as notable scientists and Bell Labs President and Alcatel-Lucent CTO, Marcus Weldon.

Commenting on the celebration, Weldon said, "I think it is fitting that today, as we honor and celebrate this incredible, Nobel Prize-winning achievement by Arno and Bob, we are launching a program intended to inspire world-changing discoveries and innovations by young researchers that may one day walk in their footsteps. The Bell Labs Prize is intended to recognize innovators with the ability and vision to challenge the common assumptions, and find ways to revolutionize the way we live, work, communicate, collaborate and connect with each other and our digital world.


About the Bell Labs Prize:
The Bell Labs Prize is a competition rewarding 10x game-changing proposals in the field of information and communications technologies and related software systems and applications. The competition is open to anyone in one of the participating countries, who ‘owns' an idea and meets the eligibility requirements.

Three prize winners will receive a grant of either $100,000 (grand prize), $50,000 (second place) or $25,000 (third place). Additionally, through the process, Bell Labs may engage with other contest participants as part of the company's recruitment investment in top talent. The deadline to enter the contest is Tuesday, July 15, 2014. For more information, visit the Bell Labs Prize website. No purchase or payment necessary to enter the competition. Void where prohibited.

About the Cosmic Microware Background Radiation Discovery:
Back in 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were conducting experiments with the Holmdel Horn Antenna, an extremely sensitive device originally used to detect radio waves that were bounced off Echo balloon satellites, and later the Telstar, the first active communications satellite. These radio waves were so weak, that it became critical to eliminate all possible interference in order to detect them.

Despite taking all conceivable steps to eliminate interference, they continually detected a strange, buzzing noise that was coming from all parts of the sky at all times of day and night. They did a range of additional testing on the equipment, and even removed some pigeons that were nesting in the antenna and their associate detritus. Still, the sound persisted. They ultimately determined that the noise was coming from outside of our galaxy.

Almost by chance, they later learned that researchers astrophysicists Robert H. Dicke, Jim Peebles and David Wilkinson at nearby Princeton University were looking for a way to detect residual radiation that they believed would have resulted from the Big Bang. As it turned out, the radiation detected by Penzias and Wilson was a perfect match for what the Princeton researchers had predicted, and hence made history.
Quotes:
Arno Penzias said: "When we first heard that inexplicable ‘hum', we didn't understand its significance, and we never dreamed it would be connected to the origins of the universe. It wasn't until we exhausted every possible explanation for the sound's origin that we realized we had stumbled upon something big."

Robert A. Wilson said: "We've often said that there was no ‘a-ha' moment - we were simply trying to explain something that we didn't understand. It's inspiring to know the implications of one's research, and that you form a part of a vast scientific legacy."

John C. Mather, Senior Astrophysicist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said: "Looking back, we can clearly see that Penzias and Wilson sparked the growth of an industry that has changed cosmology from speculation to spectacular precision, with many thousands of published papers, thousands of scientists and engineers involved, and already two Nobel prizes and perhaps a third yet to come. What an amazing result!"

Additional Resources:

  • BuzzFeed Article: 7 Scientific Discoveries That Happened By Accident

• The Big Bang: A Timeline of Discovery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alcatel-lucent/14225728072/

More Stories By NeonDrum News

NeonDrum is a targeted online news release distribution and monitoring service for PR professionals. Our mission is simple: to boost online coverage of your B2B news, help you to punch above your weight in the online channel, and get you seen, heard - and found - by the people that matter.

Latest Stories
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
We’ve been doing it for years, decades for some. How many websites have you created accounts on? Your bank, your credit card companies, social media sites, hotels and travel sites, online shopping sites, and that’s just the start. We do it often without even thinking about it, quickly entering our personal information, our data, in a plethora of systems. Sometimes we’re not even aware of the information we are providing. It could be very personal information (think of the security questions you ...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.