About U K Gupta Excellence Award

Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) is pleased to announce and invite nominations for the first edition of its annual industry award “U K Gupta Excellence Award 2023” in the memory of its founding president, Late Mr. U K Gupta. The awards are designed to promote innovation, development, and recognition the excellence in the authentication and traceability industry. The first award will be presented at 5th Traceability and Authentication Forum (TAF) schedule on 6-7th July 2023 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi, India.   

Mr. U K Gupta passed away on June 1, 2021, and is regarded as an industry veteran, reservoir of knowledge, and the first generation of an entrepreneur building the authentication industry in India. As a founding President of ASPA, he always had a great dream about the future of the Authentication and traceability ecosystem in India and its role in combating the menace of counterfeiting. During his lifetime he was accoladed with various awards including the ET Lifetime Achievement Award and became the first Asian to be awarded by the prestigious Brian Monaghan Award from International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA). A serial entrepreneur Mr. U K Gupta, ASPA founding members and founder President, he created various successful businesses in his lifetime and was the Chairman of Holostik Group.

The purpose of the Award is to establish a system of appreciation and recognition of excellence within the industry. The awards will acknowledge and celebrate innovation in authentication and traceability design & implementation. For the inaugural award, projects developed or commercially implemented in the market for the period April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, will be eligible.  

Award Categories & Participation

There are total three (3) award categories. One (1) winner and One (1) runner-up will be awarded in each category. Kindly read the categories, eligibility, application process and timeline very carefully before applying.

Category 1

Innovation in Physical Authentication

Includes innovations in security features, substrates,  or new printing techniques that offer significant technical improvement in authentication or new technical idea or method of how something is done in the Anti-counterfeiting industry. The innovation should be significantly different or demonstrate important improvements as compared to existing features or products and the feature or product was developed or launched during the eligibility period. 

Category 2

Innovation in Digital Authentication or Traceability

Includes innovations in digital technologies, solutions or systems offer significant technical improvement or software development in authentication or traceability or new technical idea or method of how something is done in the industry.

Category 3

Innovation in Phygital Authentication

Includes innovations in product technologies and building a combination of physical and digital authentication and traceability technologies, solutions, and systems with brands or government organizations.

Participation And Eligibility Criteria

The entry submitted for the Award must fulfill the following criteria.

  1. The award entries are open to ASPA members only
  2. The product or innovation submitted does not need to have been commercially implemented at the time of submission. However, please note that commercially implemented projects will be given preference in the judging criteria.
  3. The product / project submitted should have been developed or commercially implemented in the market for the period for the period April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.
  4. One can apply in multiple categories, but each entry must be submitted separately. The same product or project cannot be submitted in multiple categories.
  5. Submitters undertake that all information on this form is true and accurate. There are no false claims for credit and all contributors are acknowledged.
  6. Entries can be resubmitted, provided that the previous submission did not win an award and or has been through upgrades in terms of functionality, the introduction of new / ‘smart’ elements, and overall structural changes to address new customer requirements, or earlier limitation.
  7. The jury reserves the right to assess the extent of any submitted upgrades that make the product eligible for an award.

Why Apply For / Benefits

All the applicants and especially winners of Awards will benefit in multiple ways. The following are the benefits offered:

To Winners and Runners-Up:

  1. Award Insignia – Winners will get Award insignia to brand their product/service, which can be added in promotional material, embedded on the product, and the product packaging.
  2. Display – All awards entries will be displayed at the Authentication & Traceability Forum subject to actual product provided by awardee.
  3. Publicity – The organizers will promote the Awards and winning entries through ASPA social media platform and its publications at The Authentication Times.
  4. Online – Winners will be featured on the award portal.
  5. Award Ceremony – Winners will be presented with the awards at the Authentication Forum Summit.
  6. Certificate & Trophy – Winners will be awarded a certificate and a trophy and will be encouraged to use this prestigious award in their marketing material.

To all shortlisted applicants’ entries for submission:

  1. Display – All awards entries will be displayed at the Traceability and Authentication Forum 2023.
  2. Complimentary Access at Authentication and Traceability Forum – One complimentary delegate pass per Company to attend the conference for those who have not registered for the conference.

*Subject to COVID-19 & any other Government protocol, the organizer reserves the right and may change the in-person event to digital or any other appropriate format.


  • Launch Date:  10th May 2023
  • Last date for submission:  20th June 2023
  • Award evaluation: 29th June 2023
  • Notification to applicants: 3rd July 2023
  • Awards announcement: At the Traceability and Authentication Forum 2023, 6th July 2023 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, India.
  • The dates are subject to current affairs and may change accordingly. ASPA Secretariat will share important notification / updates on the link and over e-mail.

How To Apply

Step 1 – Read all the instructions carefully.

  • Please read all the instructions clearly on the website.
  • New Application can be made by the authorized representative of the company / organization only.
  • To download a blank application form, click here. The blank application form is for reference only. The actual application is to be filled online.
  • Information may be kept ready for online submission.
  • Submissions should be clear, concise, and persuasive.
  • 4 – 8 PNG/JPEG images and award artwork must be prepared for the entry. *Each image no bigger than 3 MBin file size.
  • Video of not more than 2 mins length may be prepared for the entry. The video may be shot using any medium available to the applicant and should highlight the period, salient features, success, etc. for their entry.
  • Video may be uploaded on YouTube or on a similar platform and URL of the same to be shared. Post submission video cannot be changed.
  • Jury will not consider anything mentioned on the video beyond the 2-minute mark.
  • The images and video URL may be kept ready to be uploaded to the application form.
  • The applicant’s name or other awards won by the project should not be mentioned in the images and video, to conduct an unbiased judgment.
  • Applicants can save progress as they proceed with filling the application form.
  • Application can be changed till the last date of submission i.e. June 8, 2023. (Latest submitted application will be considered as the final one)
  • There is no application fee.

Step 2 – Apply

To apply, please use the link to submit your award entry. There is no application fee. If you experience any difficulties, please email the ASPA Secretariat at for assistance.

Jury And Evaluation

  • Each application will be assigned to a panel of eminent jury members.
  • The Jury members will evaluate the applications.
  • ASPA will inform the applicants over email about the acceptance or rejection of their entry.
  • The Jury members would be independent of the Governing Body of ASPA

Evaluation Criteria

1. Evaluation criteria for the award entries will include*:

A. Creativity and Innovation

  • This category includes design innovation and aesthetics;
  • Technology, material, and/or process innovation; originality & uniqueness and other related aspects of the solution

B. Effectiveness and Impact

  • This category incorporates aspects such as the functionality and ease of use for the consumer to Identify counterfeits using this innovation, proven capability of the solution at solving the counterfeiting problem, scale of deployment, and other related criteria

Terms & Conditions

  • ASPA reserves the right to refuse entry of products or services that do not comply with any or all applicable eligibility criteria.
  • The applicant can withdraw the application at any time during the award process.
  • If the applicant fails to exhibit the physical material for jury evaluation, the entry will be judged based on available application information.
  • Information supplied within or in relation to the application must be real, correct and complete. Please note that all personal or sensitive information will be treated as confidential.
  • Claims made by the applicant such as “unique”, “world first”, “one of a kind” or “owned by” must be substantiated. The Awards reserves the right to request further evidence such as records of all applicable patents, trademarks, design registrations or intellectual property ownership.
  • The organizer may withdraw the award at any time, even after it being granted if it is found that the information supplied was incorrect.
  • The decision of the jury is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • All submission material and accompanying documentation must be clearly written in the English language.
  • The entry and accompanying documentation including images must be made available for use by the for usage in publicity material, exhibitions, etc Please note that images might be supplied to the media for publication to further promote the entry and the Awards. By applying for the award the applicant grants the ASPA (publishers of The Authentication Times® and organisers of Traceability and Authentication Forum™) and their agents and collaborators, permission to reproduce by photographic, print or electronic methods (excluding holographic methods) the hologram(s) and other materials which are the subject of this application only for the purposes of promoting the Awards, the ASPA and The Authentication News®. (Only relevant if this is an application).
  • Product samples might undergo internal inspections or tests and might therefore be dismantled. Every effort will be made to rebuild product samples to their original state prior to return however the organizer accepts no responsibility for failure to do so.
  • Please be aware that the ASPA, its employees, and contractors accept no responsibility for any damage or loss caused to any submission material during transportation, handling or storage and that packaging, transportation and insurance of any submission material is the responsibility of the applicant. Due to the highly fragile nature of some submission material, please be aware that damage or loss might occur. Insurance to cover damage or loss should be considered if the value of the item is desirable.