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.