Microsoft has opened the call for entries for the 2011 Life Sciences Innovation Awards, where customers and partners can demonstrate how they are implementing Microsoft technology to revolutionize the industry. When you look at last year’s winners, you have major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Merck right in there. A couple years ago I had the chance to talk with Mike Naimoli, who is the US director of Microsoft Life Sciences and what is interesting is that what we discussed with Pfizer and One Note back in 2009 ended up being one of the winners in the 2010 Innovation awards. In short, you can see this is open for all sizes and types of life sciences companies to submit. Entries are accepted up until May 9, 2011 so there’s plenty of time. Winners will be announced on June 21, 2011 at the Drug Information Association Annual Conference in Chicago. Who should enter? (from the website) Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device companies worldwide which are innovatively applying technology to create therapeutic innovations are welcome to enter the contest, through nomination from the scientific, technical, business executives, CIOs, or CTOs. In addition, NBC had a video on the web today about some of the imaging technology from Microsoft. New imaging techniques make the colonoscopy a lot easy to handle by digitally emptying the colon and who doesn’t like that idea compared to the preparation we do today. The computer learns from the image and could be a way of getting more people to be scanned. Last year in 2010 at the Annual TED Convention, Juan Enriquez during his video presentation also said we need to code for cures and begin hacking genes, as we have enough medical record systems, so move over to Life Sciences. One more past post worth a mention is the Trento Centre in Italy where biology and computer science are coming together. If you have not seen this, it’s worth checking out. It’s that time of year again. Today, we open our call for entries to the annual Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Awards. The awards recognize the life science organizations which are at the forefront of leveraging information technology to develop innovative health solutions. In 2006, we created this program to encourage our customers and partners to push the envelope and find strategic uses of new technologies to better collaborate, securely and seamlessly share data with a broad network of partners and ultimately speed up time to market. Let’s take a deeper dive into how life sciences organizations can enter: WHO: Pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, and academic, public and private sector life sciences organizations are invited to participate. If you are using the latest Microsoft solutions to reduce complexity, lower operational costs, and speed products or services to market faster, we want to hear from you. WHY: The Microsoft Life Sciences Innovations Awards program is your opportunity to show the medical community, consumers and patients how your organization is creatively using technology to improve healthcare and enhance people’s quality of life. By demonstrating quantifiable results, winners show how Microsoft technology can be implemented to revolutionize the industry, providing a road map for other companies that want to advance their own organizations’ goals. Winners will be eligible to participate in promotional and marketing activities with Microsoft, such as a press release, webcast or case study, and will receive a winner logo for use on their marketing materials and Website. HOW: You can download the entry form and rules for submissions here. WHEN: The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m. PT on May 9, 2011. An independent panel of industry experts will select the three most innovative solutions, and winners will be announced on June 21, 2011 at the Drug Information Association Annual Conference. Last year’s winners offer some inspiring examples. Merck and its partner Proton Media developed custom virtual-world meeting technology to improve employee collaboration, as well as learning and training. The pilot created the pharmaceutical industry’s first virtual scientific poster session and demonstrated how life sciences companies can combine Microsoft’s technology with an enterprise virtual collaboration environment like ProtoSphere to extend their Microsoft platform and accelerate decision making. Another winning entry last year came from Pfizer. By combining Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft Office OneNote, Pfizer created shared electronic project notebooks that enable teams to work in a rich collaborative environment, resulting in significant time savings, improved decision-making and increased team cohesion. This solution also won the Pfizer team the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2010 Teamwork in Innovation award. These are just a few examples. Now it’s your turn: Submit your application and tell us how your organization is creatively employing Microsoft solutions to realize significant business and information technology benefits.