Three groups of students have been awarded prizes of 5,000 euro each as part of the EU contest for young scientists. The winners were selected from a total of 63 projects, each of which had already won a top prize in a national young scientist competition. The president of the jury, Professor Pauline Slosse, said that 'this year's projects were of particularly high quality. It was very difficult for the jury to identify the 'best of the best''. The three projects that took top honours covered the fields of airplane transportation, biotesting and space rocket fuel. The winning students will go on to represent the EU at international events, and each will be given the chance to join established research teams for short periods of scientific training. The European Commission's director responsible for the prize, Dr. Rainer Gerold, said 'Young scientists have a key role to play for the future of our societies. If we don't succeed to promote young people's interest in science and engineering [...] Europe will be in danger of falling back. In fact: young people's declining interest in scientific studies and our ageing population must be points of concern to us all.' The contest is funded under the 'Improving human potential' programme of the Commission's Fifth Framework Programme, which aims to develop knowledge potential through greater support for training and mobility of researchers.