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UK COMPANIES WIN EUROPEAN IST PRIZES

Three UK companies are among the winners of the European Information Society Technologies (IST) Prize 2004. Each will receive 5,000 (euros) and will be invited to exhibit their products in the European IST Prize Winners Village at the 2004 IST Event in The Hague from 15-17 November.,

Bristol based Babboo, FilmLight and Skinkers both based in London - are now among the twenty companies short listed to become one of three Grand Prize Winners with the chance to win a further 200,000 (euros) and the European IST Prize Trophy. The winners of these awards will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels in early 2005. Babboos Xclone, FilmLights Speed-FX and Skinkers Communications Platform were amongst 430 products from 29 countries that were evaluated by Independent experts from 16 EU countries. ,· XClone, from Babboo is the Worlds first fully automated cloning solution for Oracle databases and applications.,· Speed-FX from FilmLight is a high-performance creative workstation for very high-resolution graphic interaction. ,· Skinkers Communications Platform is a revolutionary priority communications and file distribution channel for the PC. Enables accurate measure of the impact of your communication.,The competition for these awards is always strong and this years successes show the UK is continuing to be at the forefront of information technology development, says Peter Walters, FP6UKs National Contact Point for IST. Traditionally we have a fairly good record in these awards and I am delighted to see that continuing. All three companies are to be congratulated on their achievements and I wish them luck for the Grand Prize Awards early next year. The IST Prize, organised by Euro-CASE* with the support and sponsorship of the IST Programme of the European Commission, is Europes most distinguished award for groundbreaking IST products. ,European IST Prize winners attract international recognition and great interest from venture capitalists. High standards and tough screening of candidates for innovation and market potential make this contest a breeding ground for technological excellence, and hence industrial competitiveness, says Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn. The IST 2004 event, at which winners will be invited to exhibit their products, is organised by the European Commission in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. It will include a conference, an exhibition of research results and networking facilities. The IST 2004 conference will examine ways of harnessing information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance prosperity, security and quality of life for all Europeans. The exhibition will show how ICT enables new ways of living, working together, communicating, and ensuring that every citizen benefits from the knowledge-based economy. Networking sessions will focus on project ideas, research activities and possible business partnerships. ,* Euro-CASE is a European non-profit organisation of national Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering from 18 European countries. Further information,European IST Prize winners and nominees: http://www.ist-prize.org,IST 2004 Event: UK for XClone: http://www.babboo.com FilmLight (UK) for Speed-FX: http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk Skinkers (UK) for Skinkers Communications Platform: http://www.skinkers.comThe EUs Framework Programmes are the worlds largest, publicly funded, research and technological development programmes. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) covers the period 2002-2006 and is the European Unions main instrument for the funding of collaborative research and innovation. It is open to public and private entities of all sizes in the EU and a number of non-EU countries. It has an overall budget of 19 billion. Most of the budget for FP6 is devoted to work in seven priority thematic areas:,? Life sciences, Genetics and Biotechnology for Health;,? Information Society Technologies;,? Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledgebased Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices;,? Aeronautics and Space;,? Food Quality and Safety;,? Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems; and,? Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. There is also a focus on the research activities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across all seven thematic areas. The services of FP6UK are provided by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) / Department of Trade & Industry (DTI). More information can be found on http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk ,IST Programme ,The IST Priority Thematic Area (PTA) of the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) is the largest of the seven PTA's - with a budget of 3.822bn over the lifetime of FP6. Over 400 projects will arise from the first and second calls, with call budgets of 1070m and 525m respectively. The 3rd Call for proposals was one of three separate calls in the IST domain that have a closing date of 15 October - including a Joint Call with the Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production technologies area. Further calls for 1bn and 800m are expected late 2004 and mid 2005. ,

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United Kingdom