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EARTO Innovation Prize 2009


The 2009 EARTO Innovation Prize was awarded at a special ceremony at the Musical Instrument Museum in central Brussels on the afternoon of 9 December, starting at 17:00, followed by an evening reception.

The first EARTO Innovation Prize went to TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) and its partners, the Kennemerland Regional Public Health Laboratory and Vitens, a Dutch drinking water supplier, for the development of an innovative “Legionella Chip”.

The new Legionella Chip will allow companies and public authorities to determine in only four hours whether a water sample contains a pathogenic strain of Legionella, compared to two weeks with a traditional method of analysis. This innovation represents a significant breakthrough - the fight against Legionella. The spinoff company LEGYON@ BV was jointly created by TNO and Vitens to market the Legionella Chip.

Two other innovations were highly commended by the Jury: MOTIONPOD, developed by a team from CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission) and a Back-Contact Solar Module Assembly Line by a research team from ECN (the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands). MOTIONPOD is a patented motion sensing solution for accurate human body orientation measurement with applications in various fields such as physiotherapy, rehabilitation or medical robotics. The Back-Contact Solar Module Assembly Line is capable of assembling industrial-size solar modules and has been designed to support all possible varieties of rear-contact cells. It will lead to drastic cost reduction of solar modules and of solar electricity generation.

The programme featured presentations by Martin Schuurmans, President of the EIT, Luke Georghiou, Professor of Science and Technology Policy and Management at Manchester University, on innovation priorities for Europe followed by a Fraunhofer presentation illustrating RTOs' strategic research function.


17:00 Opening - Erkki KM Leppävuori, Director General VTT, President of EARTO

17:10 - Martin Schuurmans, Chairman, EIT Governing Board
The Innovation Challenges Facing Europe and How the EIT Will Address Thempresentation

17:30 - Luke Georghiou, Professor of Science and Technology Policy and
Management, Manchester Business School

Towards a More Effective Innovation Policy in Europepresentation

17:50 - Dirk-Meints Polter, former Vice-President, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
RTOs and Innovation: Strategic Research for a Better Future, presentation

18:15 - Award of the 2009 EARTO Innovation Prize
with videos providing an overview of the winning innovations

18:45 - Drinks and buffet reception in the panoramic restaurant of the Musical Instrument Museum

Press Coverage

EARTO press release, 9 December 2009 - link

PV-tech.org, 10 December 2009, "ECN awarded second place prize for Solar Energy unit" - link

European Energy Review, 10 December 2009, "ECN unit Solar Energy wins innovation prize" - link 

link Magazine, 10 December 2009, "Legionellachip wint Europese innovatieprijs" - link

Solar Plaza, 11 December 2009, "ECN Unit Solar Energy Wins Innovation Prize" - link 

Voeding NU, 14 December 2009, "Innovatieprijs voor legionella-chip van TNO" - link

EngineersOnline.nl, 14 December 2009, "Legionellachip van TNO wint Europese Innovatieprijs" - link

Kennis van kraanwater, 14 December 2009, "Legionellachip wint prijs" - link

Water Link International, 6 January 2010, "Legionalla chip wins Innovation Prize" - link

Pictures from the event: link


  • 2009 EARTO Innovation Prize Ceremony
    2009 EARTO Innovation Prize Ceremony
  • 2009 Innovation Prize Winner: "Legionella Chip", TNO (The Netherlands)
    2009 Innovation Prize Winner: "Legionella Chip", TNO (The Netherlands)
  • "MotionPod", CEA (France)
    "MotionPod", CEA (France)
  • "Unit Solar Energy", ECN (The Netherlands)
    "Unit Solar Energy", ECN (The Netherlands)


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