Pinnacle InterTech Awards Herald the Best in Innovation

InterTech WinnersThis September, PRINTING United Alliance will unveil the winners of the 2021 Pinnacle InterTech Awards. The awards (formerly known as the InterTech Technology Awards) have been a harbinger of technology shifts since their introduction in 1978. 

The awards recognize technologies judged to be truly innovative and likely to have a significant impact on the graphic communications world. The awards are not given to technologies because of excellent engineering or widespread adoption, but instead because of meaningful technical ingenuity. 

The 11 awards in 2020 brought the number of awards granted since the award’s inception to 372. A look at past recipients reinforces that the awards herald change. For example, scanning technology was first honored in 1980 (Hell Chromacom and Crosfield Magnascan 570), years before scanning was widely used. The first digital color press was added to the award list in 1995. By 2000, e-commerce technology had already been recognized. 

This year the judges will be examining technology entries from across the world. To be eligible, technologies must be available for general sale (part of, or an entire product) and have been introduced within the past three years. In addition, they must already be used in customer applications. 

Entries require companies to describe their technology, the innovation that makes it award worthy, and how users achieve a return on their investment. The judges also value written or video testimonials. Print samples are required for imaging technologies. 

InterTech AwardsAs recognized contributors to the industry, the judging committee comprises 12 distinguished decision-makers, who are selected because of their experience in the evaluation and/or commissioning of new products or technologies. PRINTING United Alliance is wary of conflicts of interest, and thus there are no judges from hardware or software manufacturers or suppliers. 

If an award is not granted, it’s generally because the degree of innovation beyond existing technologies did not sufficiently impress the judges. It could also be because they weren’t persuaded that the technology would have a significant impact.

Technologies that receive an award will be highlighted in a news release, the PRINTING United Journal, and during a webinar this fall. Companies will be able to display the InterTech logo and a digital badge in company marketing. Recognition will also occur at the PRINTING United Expo this October.  

The entry deadline for the Pinnacle InterTech Awards is July 31. Suppliers can enter a technology this year through the new Pinnacle Awards website. Questions can be directed to

Bill PopeAs PRINTING United Alliance’s VP, Technical Services, Bill Pope leads educational initiatives, including the Continuous Improvement Conference and Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, while overseeing the Alliance’s consulting services and awards programs, and working closely with the newly merged team at Idealliance. With 30-plus years in printing and packaging, Pope frequently presents at industry conferences and events, and has authored numerous technical papers and articles for various journals and publications.

James Workman
Jim Workman is VP, Technology and Research for PRINTING United Alliance. He is responsible for its annual Continuous Improvement Conference, the InterTech Technology Awards, and the association’s consulting services, as well as serving as managing director of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts.