Nano-process for Magnetic Storage wins €100k Award

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: Nano-process for Magnetic Storage wins €100k Award Reply with quote

Nano-process for Magnetic Storage wins €100k Science to Business Award

Russell Cowburn, 36, Professor of Nanotechnology at Imperial College, London, is the winner of the "Degussa European Science-to-Business Award 2006”. Professor Cowburn's won for a nanotechnology-based process for manufacturing magnetic materials, which can increase the capacity of data storage devices by a factor of 100. A team from the Netherlands, and a joint Danish/Dutch team also made it through to the final round.

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

The award was open to young scientists working at research institutions in Europe. The theme of the 2006 prize was materials sciences and applied technologies. Degussa offered the prize in collaboration with INSEAD, the European business school, and the German financial newspaper, Handelsblatt. The patron was Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research.

With the objective of successfully translating innovations into economically successful products, the award now presented carries a prize of 100,000 euros, making it one of the most highly endowed awards on the research landscape. In addition, the prize-winner will receive extensive management coaching from INSEAD.

Prize-winner Prof. Russell Cowburn developed high-performance magnetic data storage that is particularly suitable for use in portable devices such as laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players and PDAs. It will also enable completely new applications, such as storing large video messages on cell phones. The business potential of this new technology is substantial - conservative estimates put the expected market volume at more than 100 million euros over the medium term.

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

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

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This story was first posted on 13th September 2006.
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