|IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice.|
Rewarding the excellence of teams, not individuals; highlighting international research conducted through networks; open to all scientific disciplines. This is what makes the European Union's Descartes Prize, which was awarded for the first time in November 2000, so unique.
About 100 nominations were submitted to the panels of experts for the various disciplines. Their task was to select eight finalists (see box). 'Unlike the assessment of projects submitted to the Commission, in this case it was completed research projects which were being judged. And, they had not necessarily received Union support,' explains Graham Blythe, a scientific officer at the Research Directorate-General.
The finalists included Antonio Pizzi of Nancy University, who presented an environment-friendly industrial process in the field of adhesives used for wood-based industrial composites. He sees the Descartes Prize as rewarding a double achievement: in terms of the major progress made, and in harnessing an international effort. 'The project must not only achieve a high scientific level, but also unite the human qualities necessary for the success of joint cooperation,' he said.
In the final,
a grand jury of prominent figures representing a balanced mix of specialities,
geographical origins and backgrounds - scientific, political, industrial,
economic, etc. - selected three winners. Chaired by Yves Michot, former
CEO of Aérospatiale Matra, members of the jury included Sirkka
Hämäläinen of the European Central Bank, the astronaut
Ulf Merbold, Nobel Physics Prize-winner Ben Mottelson, the Secretary General
of the Academy of Russian Sciences, Nikolai Platé, and Anna C.
Roosevelt, curator of the Field Museum in Chicago. All these people symbolise
the essential link between science and society.
Battery for high power demand - High-performance batteries for
hybrid vehicles (DE, AT, UK, SE).
(*) The projects marked with an asterisk are the three winners.