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18th European Union Contest for Young Scientists

Stockholm, 23-28 September 2006

Meet bright young minds shaping Europe's future

Brussels, September 2006,- The 18th European Union Contest for Young Scientists will be held from 23-28 September, 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. More than 120 talented young scientists (aged 15-20) from 33 countries will be competing to win prizes totalling €28 500. A jury of 15 distinguished scientists will judge 79 winning projects from national competitions covering a wide range of scientific disciplines. An exhibition of the students' entries will be set up at Stockholm's National Museum of Science and Technology, where journalists will have the opportunity to meet the participants and learn more about their innovative projects. The exhibition will be open and free of charge to the public from Sunday 24 to Tuesday 27 September.

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists, an initiative of the European Commission, was set up to promote the ideals of co-operation and interchange between young scientists and to encourage young people to pursue their interest in science and embark on careers in science and technology. The contest is the annual showcase of the best of European student scientific achievement and is part of the EU's Science and Society Programme which aims to build a more harmonious relationship between scientific endeavour and the European society at large.

The 79 competing projects1 cover a wide range of scientific disciplines - from Earth sciences and computer science to environmental investigation, aerospace engineering and social sciences. The EU Contest gives students the opportunity to compete alongside the best of their contemporaries from across Europe, meeting and interacting with other young talented students as well as some of the most highly regarded scientists in Europe.

The total prize fund , worth €28 500 , is divided into nine top prizes: three first prizes worth €5 000 each, three second prizes worth € 3 000 each and three third prizes worth €1 500 each . In addition to these monetary prizes up to 6 "honorary awards" and 9 "special donated prizes" will be awarded.

The projects are evaluated by a jury, comprised of a President and 14 other scientists of international reputation. The president of the jury for the 18th EU Contest will be Professor Jane Grimson (Trinity College Dublin-IE). Professor Grimson is a member of the European Research Advisory Board, the Executive Board of the European Science Foundation, and the Board of Science Foundation Ireland, and chair of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.

The award ceremony will take place on 27 September in “Vinterträdgården” (the Winter Garden) of the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. Those presenting the prizes will include Mr. J. M. Baer , Director of Science & Society at the European Commission and Mr. Leif Pagrotsky , Swedish Minister of Education and Research and Culture.

Extra media programme activities (in addition to the exhibition, awards ceremony, press conference and interview opportunities) include a seminar with the Nobel laureate in medicine, Arvid Carlsson, a dinner at Tom Tits Experiment, Sweden’s largest science centre, and a specially guided tour of the Nobel Museum with dinner.

Success stories

Uwe Treske (DE) Eighteen-year-old German Uwe Treske won first prize at the 15 th Young Scientist Contest held in Budapest in 2003 for his project developing a “Low-cost scanning tunneling microscope”. A Scanning Tunneling Microscope feels the surface of the material with the help of an extremely fine tip. It is one of the most important tools in nanotechnology because it can make even partial atoms of a material surface visible. Such devices usually cost several thousand euros. Uwe’s microscope can be made for 40 euros. Uwe's biggest reduction in costs came from using a standard PC sound card for the digitization of the measuring signal. His device offers a unique relation between price and resolution. After winning the European contest in 2003, Uwe went on to win one of the three grand prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May 2004. He would like to pursue a career as a physicist or nanotechnologist.

Gabor Bernath (HU) Encouraged by his father, Gabor started working on a project for the Young Scientist Contest in 1997. His goal was to develop a 3D scanning tool at a reasonable price without compromising its quality. The result was ScanGuru, his own 3D scanner, which won him first prize both at the 10 th EU Young Scientist Contest held in Porto in 1998 and at the 50 th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The project has enabled Gabor to travel extensively and has opened his eyes to the international science scene. It attracted the attention of an enterprising businessman who helped Gabor set up a small company, EasyScan Ltd., and start the application procedure for a patent. Since then, the company has developed the 3D scanner for different purposes. Their biggest project at present is the production of made-to-measure shoes using the ScanGuru based 3D system.

(for more examples please visit

1) Countries participating in the EUYSC 2006 : Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


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:
Jaime González de Gispert, Press Officer, Ogilvy PR Worldwide
Tel: +32.(0)2.545.6603, Fax: +32.(0)2.545.6610

Participating media will receive assistance in advance, logistical planning and complete practical details prior to the event. 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 organizing committee, also contact Jaime González de Gispert (see above).

Press places for side events are limited and interested journalists are advised to indicate which events they wish to attend using the registration form.


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