IKUA research group from the Department of Optimization at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI won the 25,000 Euro innovation prize for Climate and Environment (IKU) in the "Environmentally friendly products and services" category. The award is donated by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). The award was handed to the researchers in a ceremony on March 15 in Berlin. Worldwide, over 7,000 companies use the optimization solutions provided by Fraunhofer SCAI. The best known applications are AutoNester (automatic placement of pieces onto textiles, leather, metal sheets and wood) and PackAssistant (optimizing packing configurations of identical parts into containers). The potential savings are enormous: "When cutting metal, wood or leather skins our software saves up to 30 percent of material, depending on the industry," says Dr. Ralf Heckmann, Director of the Department of Optimization at Fraunhofer SCAI.

The exponential growth in the ageing population in European countries is raising severe problems for the national health programmes, scrambling to create adaptable solutions for different medical situations and diseases. The “OLDES” project, funded by the 6th EU FP, and coordinated by Massimo Busuoli and Marco Carulli, ENEA, Italy, aimed at tackling some of the challenges that e-Health for the elderly has to face today by implementing an affordable and customisable tele-cardiology system. The OLDES approach, based on a “participative design” concept, has developed an accessible and logical medical platform for the elderly, involving interested actors both in the implementation of the system and in the design/validation phases. The use of a low-cost PC, combined with essential tele-support and telemedicine services, has made OLDES a viable model for future service providers and regional social services interested in setting up a programme for remote diabetes and cardiologic services. To test and validate the OLDES platform, 2 pilots have been implemented: one in Prague focused on 10 diabetes patients and one in Bologna, targeted at 100 elderly (10 with cardiologic diseases).

Van-Wijngaarden-winners-CWIOn the occasion of the 65th anniversary of CWI in Amsterdam, the Hungarian computer scientist Éva Tardos and the New Zealand mathematician John Butcher received the Van Wijngaarden Award 2011 on 10 February 2011. The award is intended for scientists who contributed significantly to their fields. Éva Tardos is Schurman Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, USA. Her research interests comprise algorithms and algorithmic game theory, in which she especially takes selfishness into account. The mathematician John Butcher, Emeritus Professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, works on numerical methods for ordinary differential equations. Applications include the simulation of waves. The Van Wijngaarden Award is named after Adriaan van Wijngaarden (1916 – 1987), one of the founders of computer science in the Netherlands.


High-tech spin-off company VectorWise from CWI has been sold to Ingres Corporation (USA), a leading open source database management company. VectorWise develops analytical database technology and was founded in 2008 by members of the pioneering CWI database research team: Peter Boncz, Marcin Zukowski, Sándor Héman and Niels Nes. Ingres Corporation has funded the spin-off company since its inception. VectorWise is based on scientific research results and derives its strength from a completely new approach on data processing. The approach makes use of vector processing on data sets in which every vector is tailored to the size of the cache memory of modern processors. The technology of VectorWise allows organizations to perform data analysis tasks that were previously not feasible. Application areas include logistics, science, medicine and healthcare. The development of VectorWise has spurred further scientific innovation, as other scientists around the world are using this state-of-the art system as a foundation for further research. The generation of high-tech spin-off companies is an important method for CWI to convert fundamental knowledge into practical applications.


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