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On the past 5 November, the first winners of the recently created Marie Curie Prize were announced in a ceremony in Nicosia, Cyprus. This prize aims to reward scientists who have made outstanding contributions to science and research. Nominations for this prize were made by members of the research community and could only include current or former Marie Curie Actions researchers under the 6th or 7th Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Developments. The jury was composed of an international panel of prominent academics, scientists and experts.
The Marie Curie Prize rewards researchers in three categories: communicating science, innovation and entrepreneurship, and promising research talent. The winners were Dr Claire Belcher from the United Kingdom (communicating science category), Dr Sarit Sivan from Israel (innovation and entrepreneurship category) and Dr Gkikas Magiorkinis from Greece (promising research talent category). Dr Magiorkinis was recognised for his work on how the Hepatitis C virus has spread around the world, Dr Belcher for her work on the Earth’s geological past and its impact on plant and animal life, and Dr Sivan for the development of an innovative treatment for lower back pain.
The Marie Curie Actions have supported the international mobility – since their inception in 1996 – of more than 65 000 researchers from 130 countries. Under the new European programme for research and innovation – Horizon 2020 – over EUR 5.75 billion should (if accepted by member states) be allocated to the Marie Curie Actions, out of the total EUR 80 billion foreseen to the programme, which will run from 2014 to 2020. From 2014 onwards, the Marie Curie Actions will be renamed the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.European Commission