New Technologies: IT Researchers and Innovators to compete for European prizes worth 700,000 euros to be awarded at the Milan IST 2003 Conference

April 9, 2003

Brussels, 8 April 2003

The European Information Society Technologies Prize is recognised as a distinguished European Prize for innovative products and services in the IT and Telecom sector. A total of 700,000 euros will be awarded to a number of the best innovations in the field. This Prize is organised by EUROCASE the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering - with the support of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Program of the European Commission. The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2003. The Chairman of the European IST Prize Executive Jury in 2003 is Mr. Pasquale Pistorio, President and CEO of ST Microelectronics. The 20 Winners selected among several hundreds will exhibit their winning products at the IST 2003 Conference in Milan (2-4 October 2003), where three of them will be awarded Grand Prizes by Mr Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Technology and Mr Lucio Stanca, Italian Minister for Innovation and Technology.

The IST event is a major one in the world of IT policies and research, gathering 5,000 participants last year in Copenhagen. IST 2003 will be hosted by the Italian EU Presidency in partnership with SMAU, and will be one of the largest events in Europe in the areas of information and communication technologies and consumer electronics.

IST 2003 will include a conference, an exhibition of the best European IT prototypes, and networking sessions. The calls for ideas for conference workshops and exhibits opened on April 7, with a deadline for all submissions on May 5.

The European IST Prize, evaluated by independent and respected European figures in the field of science and IT, aims at promoting new ideas into marketable products. It is open to any enterprise, laboratory, university or other organisation based in the European Union or in Associated States. The theme is "Novel products with a high information technology content and evident market potential". The European Commission's IST Programme supports the Prize to encourage technical excellence and potential for improving competitiveness and employment in a knowledge-based society.

The selection criteria of the 20 best products include technical excellence, innovative content, strategic business planning, potential for improving competitiveness, potential market value, capacity to generate employment by opening new markets or starting up new enterprises, contribution towards extending the acceptance and understanding of Information Technology by society and anticipated societal benefits.

The 20 Winners will be announced in June and will exhibit in a specific area within the IST 2003 exhibition. They will also attend the Awards Ceremony held on the first day of the IST 2003 event in presence of European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and Minister Lucio Stanca, who will award the three Grand Prizes.

IST 2003 is organized within the framework of the Italian EU Presidency by the Directorate-General Information Society of the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Technology and Innovation and the Lombardy Region. It will address European policies, strategies and research activities in all areas of the Information Society.

The conference will gather high-level decision-makers from the private and public sector, the world of research and users to discuss major European strategic initiatives in the IT and telecom sector. Other conference workshops will focus on tomorrow's major technological and societal trends.

This will be complemented with networking sessions, which were proposed for the first time last year at the IST 2002 and were a great success. In addition, visitors will see an exhibition of the best European prototypes from EU, national, regional or corporate research programs.

Many of the workshops, sessions and exhibits will be selected by the European Commission from proposals entered via the IST event web-site, launched April 7. The deadline for these proposals is the end of April.

Further information:

European IST Prize:

http://www.ist-prize.org

IST 2003 website:

http://europa.eu.int/information_society/istevent/2003/index_en.htm

IST 2003 e-newsletter: send a blank mail to:

INFSO-ISTevent-subscribe@cec.eu.int

DN: IP/03/510 Date: 08/04/2003

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