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Brussels, 12 March 2008

Research into happiness is among the winners at European science awards

The Italian researcher Luisa Corrado was among the researchers honoured today at the European Science Awards Ceremony, for her work on whether wealth can bring happiness. Ms Corrado received one of five "Marie Curie Excellence Awards", which recognise excellent researchers who have participated in the EU's researcher exchange programme. Awards were also given recognising excellence in multinational research teams and in science communication. The winners were selected by three separate Grand Juries, one for each category, composed of leading figures from European and international science. They share an award fund of almost €2m.

Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, who presented the awards, said "These awards represent the best that Europe has to offer. They honour qualities that are important for all scientists, researchers, inventors and science communicators – excellence, openness and creativity".

Other projects honoured at the event included the EPICA project, which has vastly extended our understanding of the Earth's climate over the last 800,000 years; VIRLIS which has advanced the knowledge needed to fight the listeria infection; and SynNanoMotors, developing molecular-sized motors, technology which could have myriad applications in the future. All these projects were awarded the prestigious Descartes Prize for Transnational Collaborative Research.

A documentary on the 96% of our universe that could be missing was one of 3 recipients of the Science Communication Prize, the others being the science communicator Jean-Pierre Luminet and writer Delphine Grinberg .

Alongside Luisa Corrado, other recipients of the Marie Curie Excellence award covered issues as diverse as the roles of genes in cancers, ultra-thin carbon films for use in consumer electronics, dark energy and the role of small molecules in the body's immune response.

Details of all the prize winners and the awards are available in MEMO/08/160

For additional information on European Research Prizes:

For additional information on Marie Curie Actions:

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