Brussels, Nov 2002
On 5 December, ten finalists will be vying for the €1 million in prizes at this year's Descartes Prize. The award ceremony will be hosted at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich.
Now entering its third year, the Descartes Prize – part of Research DG's 'Improving the Human Research Potential Programme (1998-2002) – is Europe's leading competition for outstanding scientific research involving transnational collaborations and partnerships. It provides important recognition for Europe's talented researchers and, at the same time, enhances public awareness of scientific research.
But, perhaps more importantly, it shows how science affects Europeans' daily lives. "The work of this year's ten finalists will surely have a positive impact on European society, and will move us closer to an integrated European Research Area," said Commissioner Philippe Busquin about the Descartes Prize. A total of 108 entries were received covering a wide range of scientific fields including information sciences, medicine, chemistry, physics, sciences and – new in 2002 – social sciences. Mr Busquin said he was also delighted to see an increase in the number of entries from candidate countries and from central and eastern Europe.
The eventual Descartes Prize winners will be chosen by a panel of nine experts representing a cross-section of scientific disciplines. Joining the Director of Science and Society, Rainer Gerold, at the prize-giving conference will be Pantelis Kyriakides, Vice-President of the EPO, last year's prize winner, Prof. Jan Balzarini of K.U.Leuven, Belgium, Otto Wiesheu, Bavarian Minister of Economy, Transport and Technology, along with many other prominent figures. The winners of the Archimedes Prize, which promotes undergraduate research projects and encourages young people to explore science and research as potential careers, will be presented on the same day at EPO.
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