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News Alert


17th European Union Contest for Young Scientists

Moscow, 17-22 September 2005

With bright minds to the bright future!

Brussels, 8 July 2005

From 17-22 September 2005, Russia will host the 17th annual EU Contest for Young Scientists. A selection of Europe's most brilliant young scientific minds will be competing to win prizes totalling € 28 500. Some 126 young people from 35 countries will be exhibiting 79 innovative projects. The competition is open to people aged between 15 and 20 and will be judged by 15 distinguished scientists. An exhibition of the students' entries will be set up at Moscow's Bauman University, where journalists will have the opportunity to meet the participants and learn more about their projects. In addition, Nobel laureates will be on-site to meet the finalists and members of the press (please see below provisional media programme - press participation limited).

Set up to promote the ideals of cooperation and interchange between young scientists, the aim of this event is to recognise the importance of science in 21st century global society, to encourage young people to pursue scientific endeavours, and ultimately to inspire them to dedicate their lives to the sciences. The competition is part of the European Union's Science and Society programme and the contest is an opportunity for the next generation of scientists to present their ideas and meet peers from across Europe and beyond. The contest has proven to be an altogether positive opportunity for talented young people, many of whom go on to be successful researchers and contribute to the future direction and dynamism of Europe.

Students from 22 EU member states, 2 EU candidate countries, 3 EFTA countries and 8 guest nations have produced the 79 shortlisted projects . Each competing team has already beaten tough national competition. The projects cover a wide range of scientific disciplines ranging from medical research, space and engineering to mathematics and the social sciences. The competition does not just encourage interest in scientific research: some past projects have led to genuine breakthroughs and in some cases practical applications have been developed.

Success stories (more examples to be included in the press pack)

Mario Chemnitz (DE) is one of the latest Young Scientist Contest winners, with his 2004 project An ultrasonic detector for gas chromatography consisting of a cheap but very sensitive ultrasonic detector based on the relationship between sound velocity and the molecular mass of a gas to analyse gas mixtures and their components. The analyses can be completed using a PC software package.

Lina Tomasella (IT) was one of the winners at the inaugural YSC in 1989 with her project Toxicity of colour dyes used as tracers. She considers that her participation in the EU Contest was pivotal to her scientific career: "After my first prize in Brussels my self-confidence was very strong, and for this reason I pursued very firmly my aim to be a researcher in the future". She has since completed her PhD in Astronomy and is now Head of Education and Outreach at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua.

The total prize fund, worth € 28 500, is divided into nine top awards. The three first prizes are worth € 5 000 each. The projects are evaluated by a jury, comprising a President and 14 other independent, international scientists who carry out their duties as individuals and not as representatives of an institution or a specific country. The President of the jury for the 17th EU Contest will be Dr Ulf Merbold (Germany). Dr Merbold was the first ESA astronaut in space and the first non-American to fly on the Space Shuttle.

In addition to the Awards Ceremony, exhibition and Press Conference - and opportunities to interview contestants - the media programme (details to be confirmed) includes a visit to Mission Control Centre in Korolev and a special boat trip along the River Moscow. Press places on these visits are limited and interested journalists are advised to reply as soon as possible using the registration form below. Meanwhile the exhibition is open free of charge to the public from Saturday 17 to Thursday 22 September.

The award ceremony itself will take place on 21 September in the Great Kremlin Palace (to be confirmed) and will be hosted by Igor Borisovich Fedorov, Rector of Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Also in attendance will be Achilleas Mitsos, Director-General for Research at the European Commission, Nobel laureates and other internationally renowned scientists.

Further information for the press:

Further information about the EU Young Scientists Contest may be found at: and

For this event, the European Commission is assisted by a contractor.
Interested media are kindly requested to register with:
Michelle Roverelli, Media Manager, Hill & Knowlton
Tel: +32.2.741.6213, Fax: +32.2.737.9552, Email:
Participating media will receive assistance in advance, logistical planning and complete practical details prior to the event.

Link to the Media Programme

You'll find here the Registration form

If you would like more information on this year's contest or past winners, or if you are interested in an interview with project teams, members of the jury or the organising committee, also contact Michelle Roverelli (see above).




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