22 March 2006

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Business Today

The 2006 European Information society technology prize

The European IST Prize is Europe’s most distinguished award for innovative products and services based on information and communication technologies. The awards ceremony will be held today and will be presented in Vienna by Dr Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission and Hubert Gorbach, Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria.
The gala award ceremony will take place in Vienna’s magnificent Hofburg – the imperial palace of the Habsburgs. The ceremony is organised under the auspices of the European Commission and the Government of Austria, which holds the Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2006.
The winners have been chosen from among the 213 innovative products and applications from 29 countries which competed for this year’s Prize.
The European IST Prize recognises and promotes excellence in research and commercial applications of information and communication technologies (ICT), also know as Information Society Technologies. The convergence of computing, telecommunications and media technologies is revolutionizing our society and is increasingly crucial to economic growth. Promotion of ICT has therefore become a recognised priority within the European Union.
With eleven years of uninterrupted growth, international recognition and huge interest from investors, the European IST Prize is today the most coveted of the prizes recognising major achievements in the ICT world.
The emphasis on innovation and market potential in the evaluation process ensures the solidity and sustainability of prize winners. The resulting visibility and recognition improves their access to finance and assists the start-up of young enterprises.
Supported by the European Commission’s Information Society Programme, the European IST Prize is organised by Euro-CASE, a non-profit organisation of national academies of engineering, technology and applied sciences from 20 European countries.
Prize proposals are evaluated by independent experts nominated by the Euro-CASE academies. Interim evaluations result in the proposal of twenty Nominees for the Grand Prize.
In December 2005, an Executive Jury chaired by Guy Demuynck, CEO of KPN Mobile, assessed the Nominees for the 2006 Prize and proposed a number of projects as Grand Prize Winners. Based on these recommendations, the European Commission will select up to twenty Winners and up to three Grand Prize Winners from among the twenty Nominees.

The twenty Nominees for the 2006 European IST Prize: www.ist-prize.org

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