Brussels, 01 Oct 2003
The European Commission has announced the eight projects shortlisted for the Descartes Prize. The issues tackled by the projects are wide ranging, and include tidal waves, artificial intelligence, satellite positioning and Alzheimer's disease.
The one million euro prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Rome on 20 November, following a decision by the Grand Jury. While deciding between eight such diverse and high calibre projects will be no easy task, the list of finalists has already been whittled down from applications involving 900 scientists in 230 research teams.
'The key to the success of EU research lies in its most important asset: European scientists,' said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. '[B]ut the importance of human resources in science is not always fully recognised in Europe. We must raise the profile of research in Europe and reward excellence.'
The Commission is keen to highlight the fact that two of this year's shortlisted projects are coordinated by women. This follows an increased number of entries from projects coordinated by women.
The shortlisted projects are the following:
- A global, open test network for intelligent, autonomous systems (AGENTCITIES);
- A computational design engine incorporating multi-disciplinary design and optimisation for blended wing configuration (MOB);
- Molecules in motion - hydrogen bond-assembled molecular machines (MOLS-IN-MOTION);
- Tzunami hazard assessment and mitigation studies (THAMS);
- Polymer light-emitting diodes for displays (PLEDD);
- Non-rigid earth 'nutation' model (NUTATION);
- Innovative pharmacology - reporter mice for in vivo imaging of gene description (ANIMALPHARM);
- Towards understanding the molecular pathology of Alzheimer's disease using secretase deficient mice (EUROSECRETASE).
Members of the jury include two directors of national science academies, the vice president of the European Patent Office, a museum curator, the CEO of a telecommunications company, a former science minister and a representative from the European Space Agency.
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