2006-09-11

Degussa Presents European Science-to-Business Award / New nano-process for magnetic storage - 100,000 euros for Prof. Russell Cowburn


Dusseldorf, Germany (ots) -

- Cross-reference: photo (Russell Cowburn, professor of nanotechnology) is available at http://www.presseportal.de/galerie.html

Russell Cowburn, 36, Professor of Nanotechnology at the renownedImperial College, London, is the winner of the "Degussa European Science-to-Business Award 2006”, which carries a substantial amountof prize money. The winner was announced on Monday evening in Berlinby Degussa AG, Dusseldorf. Cowburn fought off competition from twoother European teams in the final round. His nanotechnology-basedprocess for manufacturing magnetic materials, which can increase thecapacity of data storage devices by a factor of 100, won over thejury.

The Dusseldorf-based company launched the “Degussa European Science-to-Business Award” in November 2005. Deputy Management BoardChairman Dr. Alfred Oberholz: “Innovation is a task for society as awhole. As the world's leading specialty chemical company, ourintention is that this award will help create a favourable climatein Europe for innovation.”

The award was open to young scientists working at researchinstitutions in Europe. The theme of the 2006 prize was materialssciences and applied technologies. Degussa offered the prize incollaboration with INSEAD, the European business school, and theGerman financial newspaper, Handelsblatt. The patron was JanezPotocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research.

With the objective of successfully translating innovations intoeconomi-cally successful products, the award now presented carries aprize of 100,000 euros, making it one of the most highly endowedawards on the research landscape. In addition, the prize-winner willreceive extensive management coaching from INSEAD.Innovations with major business potential

Prize-winner Prof. Russell Cowburn developed high-performancemagnetic data storage that is particularly suitable for use inportable devices such as laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, MP3players and PDAs. It will also enable completely new applications,such as storing large video messages on cell phones. The businesspotential of this new technology is substantial - conservativeestimates put the expected market volume at more than 100 millioneuros over the medium term.

Out of the many top-class applications, two other teams made itthrough to the final round: Prof. Peter Wasserscheid(Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Dr. AndersRiisager (Technical University of Denmark), as well as Dr. Kjeld vanBommel, Dr. Arianna Friggeri and Dr. Menno Rutger de Jong of theUniversity Groningen.

Prof. Peter Wasserscheid and Dr. Anders Riisager developed SILPtechnology. SILP stands for Supported Ionic Liquid Phase. It is basedon a process that uses liquid salts to modify, optimize and varymaterial surfaces. It will enable totally new surface properties tobe produced, such as the combination of special adsorption propertieswith electrical conductivity or catalytic activity.

The team from the University Groningen and Biomade Technology carried out research into new substances for gelating and thickeningsolutions and solvents. These Low Molecular Weight Gelators (LMWGs) -small organic molecules - are used in cosmetic formulations to helpchange the consistency of creams and shampoos. They can also be usedfor the formulation of pharmaceuticals, resulting in a significantincrease of the speed at which these ingredients dissolve.

Editorial note: Additional text and images are available at: http://www.degussa.com/degussa/en/press www.degussa-award.com

Degussa is the global market leader in specialty chemicals. Ourbusiness is creating essentials-innovative products and systemsolutions that make indispensable contributions to our customers'success. In fiscal 2005 around 44,000 employees worldwide generatedsales of 11.8 billion euros and operating profits (EBIT) of 940million euros.

Originaltext: Degussa AGdigital press kits: http://presseportal.de/story.htx?firmaid=18754press kits via RSS: feed://presseportal.de/rss/pm_18754.rss2ISIN: DE0005421903

Contact:Hannelore GantzerSpokeswomanCorporate CommunicationsT +49-211-65041-368F +49-211-65041-527hannelore.gantzer@degussa.com

Degussa AG

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Degussa Presents European Science-to-Business Award / New nano-process for magnetic storage - 100,000 euros for Prof. Russell Cowburn

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