Brussels, April 2005
Two French firms and a Swedish company are the recipients of the Grand European Information Society Technology Prize 2005. This prize, of €200,000 to each winner, is organised by the European Commission together with the European Council of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering. It is open each year to companies or organisations that present an innovative information technology product with a promising market potential. The winners of the 2005 Prize were selected by an independent jury from a total of 430 applicants from all over Europe. Most of the applicants, and also the three winners, are innovative small and medium-sized enterprises.
“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 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”.
The three Grand IST Prize winners 2005, of equal merit, are:
â€¢ Cypak (Sweden), for PIN-on-Card technology, a contactless smartcard with integrated PIN pad for secure verification over the Internet. This technology is designed to protect consumers’ identities and integrity from attacks by malicious code and to enhance identity and trust in communications on the Internet. Cypak was founded in 1999 and has a staff of 14. www.cypak.com
â€¢ Let it wave (France), for 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 and access badges. Let it wave was founded in 2001 and has a staff of 8. www.letitwave.fr
â€¢ PRAXIM medivison (France), for SURGETICS Kneelogics Application, a computer-assisted surgical system dedicated to the precise positioning of implants and grafts in knee replacement and anterior cruciate ligament surgery. PRAXIM medivision was founded in 1995 and has a staff of 55. www.surgetics.com
The European IST Prize is funded by the IST Programme, which is part of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This year, the Commission received 430 applicants from 29 countries. The applications were evaluated by an independent Executive Jury that included 18 experts from 18 countries and was chaired by Guy Demuynck, Member of the Executive Board of KPN and CEO of KPN Mobile.
In the past, winners of the IST prize often contributed to groundbreaking products. The Belgian company Eyetronics, for example, won one of the prizes in 1998 for a 3D scanning solution to capture objects, faces and whole bodies. This solution was used for high-end and special effects in the films “Lara Croft” and “The Last Samurai”.
Applications for next year’s European IST Prize are possible until 12 May 2005. Next year’s Awards Ceremony will take place in the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, in March 2006.
European IST Prize winners: http://www.ist-prize.org/