Brussels, 28 March 2002
An EU-funded contest for young scientists. which aims to boost the European research area (ERA) by promoting cooperation and interchange among future generations of scientists. will take place in the Austrian capital Vienna from 22 to 28 September 2002.
The 14th European Union Contest for young scientists, open to 15 to 20 year old students, is organised under the 'Improving human potential' programme of the Fifth Framework programme for research. It involves a total of 37 countries, including the 15 Member States of the EU. Contestants are selected by a national jury before being entered for the European contest.
Gregorio Medrano, head of the 'Raising public awareness of science; young people and science' unit of the Research DG's Science and Society directorate, said the competition is 'fundamental' in encouraging exchange between young scientists and fostering the ideals on which the European research area is based. It helps 'not only to prepare a new generation of scientists but also to identify new talent at an early stage,' he said.
Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin has also praised the contest for helping to attract young people into science, another European research area goal.
The competition programme includes a range of cultural activities where students can meet their international counterparts as well as distinguished scientists. In addition to cash prizes, winners may be selected to represent the European Union at international events or join researchers working on projects organised by key scientific institutions such as the European space agency's Research and technology centre in the Netherlands.
Mr Medrano said that the number of countries participating in the competition has grown steadily, and the contest has now become an 'attraction pole' for non-EU countries. China is due to add its name to the list of participating nations in 2003.
For further information, please consult the following web address: http://www.2002youngscientists.org