The winners of this year's Life Science Industry Awards have been announced, after scientists from across the world voted for the "best-in-class" companies in the sector.
The awards were sponsored by market research firm BioInformatics and The Scientist. More than 500 companies were nominated, but only 28 achieved the status of finalist and 11 were named winners.
BD Biosciences picked up the Cell Biology Instruments award for its flow-cytometer-based technologies among 13 nominated companies. With more than 30 years experience in the development of multi-parameter flow cytometry platforms BD Biosciences was the clear winner, said BioInformatics. The company's dominance of this category had been buttressed by the launch of several flow cytometry platforms and associated sample preparation and automation systems over the past few years.
The microscope-based Instrument category award went to Carl Zeiss. The company's Microscopy Group replaced more than half of its product portfolio in 2004 and 2005.
Another big winner was Invitrogen, who bagged two prizes: the Cell Biology Kits and Reagents award and the Cell Culture Media and Reagents one.
Applied Biosystems was named best company in the Gene Expression Analysis Products category competing with 31 other companies. According to BioInformatics, Applied Biosystems' leadership in this category is due in large part to the fact that its broad product portfolio spans three of the major techniques associated with gene expression analysis - DNA microarrays, real-time PCR and RNAi (Ambion).
In addition, the firm won the Instrumentation for Genomic Analysis award.
Bio-Rad was also rewarded twice, taking home the prize for best Instrumentation for Protein Analysis, and the Protein Separation Products award.
Meanwhile, Perkin Elmer Life Sciences received the High Throughput Screening and Analysis Systems award, while Ambion won the RNAi Products award.
Other award recipients included: Fisher Scientific in the Laboratory Plasticware category; Qiagen in the Nucleic Acid Purification Products category.
"With a few notable exceptions these are the same companies who have dominated the awards since we first became involved in the voting process in 2004," said Bill Kelly, president of BioInformatics.
"Market concentration - where a relatively small number of companies control a disproportionate share of the market - isn't necessarily a bad thing."
This year's awards saw the creation of new categories in the area of Cell Biology Instrumentation (Flow Cytometer-based), Cell Biology Instrumentation (Microscope-based), and Laboratory Plasticware.
Over 3,000 scientists were independently surveyed by BioInformatics to vote for the companies that have made "the greatest contributions to life science technology" in the past year.
The scientists who voted were drawn from the readership of The Scientist magazine and The Science Advisory Board, the world's largest online panel of scientific consumers.
"The Scientist is proud to recognize the contributions of these companies to the life science research community," says The Scientist's Editor and Publisher Richard Gallagher.
"This year's finalists and winners provide a remarkable set of products and services to the industry. That they were selected by the scientists they serve as the best in their fields should be very rewarding to them."