European IST Grand Prize Winners Announced

The European Commission and the European Council of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE) have announced the three Grand Prize Winners of this year’s European IST Prize. The Prizes were awarded to two French and one Swedish company.

The three Grand Prizes – each of EUR200,000 – were presented by Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding and Guy Demuynck, Chairman of the Executive Jury, CEO of KPN Mobile, at the Palace of the Academies in Brussels on 26 April.

The European IST Prize is the most distinguished award for innovative products that represent the best of European innovation in information and communication technologies. The Grand Prize Winners were selected from a total of 430 entries. Most of the entries, including the three Grand Prize Winners, were from highly innovative SMEs.

“The three Grand Prize Winners are outstanding examples of European innovation”, said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding, who awarded the prizes yesterday evening in a ceremony at the Belgian Palace of the Academies. “Projects like these show that Europe has a strong growth potential and can substantially enhance its competitiveness by investing in information and communication technologies”.

430 innovative products from 29 countries competed for this year’s prize which is now in its 11th year. The large number and high quality of the applications received confirm the relevance of this prize for stimulating innovation in the European ICT Industry. With a total prize fund this year of EUR700,000, international recognition and huge interest from investors, the European IST Prize is the most coveted prize recognising major achievements in the ICT world. The entries are evaluated by independent experts from 18 countries nominated by Euro-CASE and agreed by the European Commission.

The Prize is organised by Euro-CASE with the sponsorship and support of the Information Society Programme of the European Commission.

The 2005 European IST Grand Prize Winners:

Cypak (SE)
PIN-on-Card technology
Contactless smartcard with integrated PIN pad for secure verification over the Internet.
Founded: 1999, staff 14. www.cypak.com

Let It Wave (FR)
CodecID
A compression software enabling the storage of high-quality identity photos with as few as 500 bytes, for secured documents such as ID cards, visas, access badges.
Founded: 2001, staff: 8. www.letitwave.fr

Praxim Mediavision (FR)
SURGETICS Kneelogics Application
A computer-assisted surgical system dedicated to the precise positioning of implants and grafts in knee surgery.
Founded: 1995, staff: 55. www.surgetics.com

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