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Headlines Published on 07 April 2006

Title Marie Curie fellows reap the rewards of sustainable agriculture

Two researchers behind an intelligent nano-filtration system for measuring soil contamination and water quality took home the 2006 Nordic Innovation Award from Bayer CropScience, presented this week in Denmark.

Bayer CropScience’s Nordic Innovation Award 2006 went to chemist Gadi Rothenberg and senior research scientist Hubert De Jonge from the company Sorbisense. © Bayer CropScience
Bayer CropScience’s Nordic Innovation Award 2006 went to chemist Gadi Rothenberg and senior research scientist Hubert De Jonge from the company Sorbisense.
© Bayer CropScience
Former Marie Curie fellows Hubert de Jonge and Gadi Rothenberg won the Bayer CropScience Innovation Award 2006 for their patented filtration system. The filter has been fine-tuned, using high-tech nano-materials, to collect, sort and monitor numerous different solutes in soil and water.

In addition to analysing soil, their patented Sorbicell system can monitor nutrients and alien elements in drainage and surface water, as well as groundwater and wastewater. The new method has unique advantages compared to known methods, according to de Jonge.

“It is not necessary to carry out repeat analyses to establish the mean figure or the total amount over a period of time, as our method ensures a so-called flow-proportional measurement,” he explains. This saves on time and costs of analyses.

Motivated and innovated
Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, said it set up the €10 000 Award to underpin its efforts to promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. In this case, the young scientists were honoured not only for their innovative technology – and ambition to see it used as a standard test for soil contamination and water quality – but also for its underlying ‘sustainability’ credentials.

Both de Jonge and Rothenberg are current members of the Marie Curie Fellowship Association. In fact, they first met in 2000 while attending the EU-hosted ‘Improving Human Potential’ conference in Crete. This led to a lasting collaboration resulting in a new technology, world patent and the setting up of Sorbisense, a company which develops and markets new environmental monitoring equipment based on their award-winning research.

Gadi Rothenberg also received a Marie Curie Excellence Award in 2004 for his investigation of new catalysts using a combination of advanced computational and experimental methods. “Research offers new challenges every day and gives the opportunity to work with talented and enthusiastic people – there is no other occupation like it,” he commented in Headlines on that occasion.

The Sixth Framework Programme’s ‘Human resources and mobility’ scheme, with a budget of nearly €1.6 billion, largely funds training and mobility activities for researchers. These activities, known as the Marie Curie Actions, are aimed at developing and transferring European research competencies, consolidating and widening career prospects in research, and promoting excellence in the field.

Source:  Bayer CropScience, Marie Curie website

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More information:

  • Marie Curie awards scientific excellence (Headlines, 17 November 2004)

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