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EPFL solar researcher up for top science prize

A chemist at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) has been nominated for the €1.1 million (SFr1.6 million) Millennium Technology Prize.

This content was published on April 14, 2010 - 16:36

The prize’s Finnish awarding organisation on Wednesday lauded Michael Grätzel, director of the EPFL’s photonics and interfaces laboratory.

German-born Grätzel invented dye-sensitised, low-cost/high-performance solar cells, which have led to the development of electricity-generating windows and mobile solar panels.

The other two nominees are Cambridge University’s Richard Friend for inventions in optoelectronics that have enabled the production of electronic paper and illuminating wall papers, and Manchester University’s Stephen Furber for designing microprocessors found in most mobile phones.

The winner, to be announced at a ceremony in Helsinki on June 9, will be awarded €800,000. The two runners-up will each receive €150,000.

The Technology Academy of Finland chose the finalists from a pool of 55 people and 39 innovations.

The biennial Millennium Technology Prize was launched by the Finnish government and industry in 2004.

It is given for achievements in energy and the environment, communications and information, new materials and processes as well as health care and life sciences.

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