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Press Release of 16 November 2005

Press release by the Life Science Agency and the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen


Award presentation of the life science design award: concepts

Surgeons in cyberspace


Essen/Düsseldorf, 16 November 2005 - Increased safety in operating theatres thanks to virtual operations on the patient’s three-dimensional data model; surgeons in cyberspace – this is still stuff of the future, but could become reality in a foreseeable period of time. The Essen-based design company piu products is working on such a m odel,which is called “Sphere”, and which received the first prize, worth 10,000 Euro, in the ‘life science design award: concepts’ competition. The North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Innovation Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart honoured the award-winners on 16 November at the Medica in Düsseldorf.


“The competition directs attention to a new field of work, namely that of product and material design in the life sciences. Good design supports fast and user-specified implementation of medical solutions – and thus the marketing of innovations” said Minister Pinkwart.


The ‘life science design award:concepts’ was awarded for the first time at the MEDICA 2005. It is the aim of the competition to bring together designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and scientists and bundle their potentials so that together they can develop ground-breaking concepts for products from the field of the life sciences.




“Award winners are real visionaries”

The jury’s decision to award the first prize to the concept“ Sphere – an operating theatre scenario” was explained by Dr. Sylvia Deutschmann, manager of the Life Science Agency and head of the jury: “Many of the technologies necessary for this concept already exist today; others are possible on the basis of today’s knowledge. Nevertheless, it has required some imagination on behalf of the jury to comprehend this revolutionary approach. In short: with this scenario piu products have shown themselves to be real visionaries.”




The award winners

Originally a single prize worth Euro 20,000 was supposed to be awarded in the life science design award: concepts, which was held this year for the first time by the Life Science Agency (LSA) and was conceived and organised in cooperation with the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. However, in the face of the high quality of the almost 70 entries from 14 countries the jury decided to split the prize-money and award three prizes in total. The second place (Euro 7,000) went to the design companies Wilddesign (Gelsenkirchen) and GEO-Design (Tokyo) with their cooperation concept “ovu ’love”, an innovative concept of natural contraception. The current hormonal value is measured by photo-spectrometry and becomes visible through light effects on the device’s translucent surface. The third prize (Euro 3,000) went to the two students Julia Hanisch and Timo Wurz from the College of Design of the University of Applied Sciences Schwäbisch Gmünd for their “Crano – a cervical orthosis” diploma dissertation. In contrast to the previously employed way of stabilising the cervical spine, the head ring of the cervical orthosis no longer has to be screwed to the head.


Special mention for fundamental research on smelling receptors

In addition to the three main prizes the jury also made a special mention of the research pap er “Vom Riechrezeptor zum Biosensor” (“From smelling receptor to biosensor”) by the renowned Bochum Professor Hanns Hatt. Hatt, head of the chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr-University Bochum, is working on decoding the functions of the smelling receptors. Jury member Professor Peter Zec, president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and president of the international umbrella organisation of design ICSID, was thrilled with the enormous potential of these genetic findings: “The really impressive a spect of this concept is that with fundamental research the basis for completely new products is created. The resarch contains enormous innovative potential and offers a great variety of applications in the field of product development and design.”




Special exhibition and forum

In total, ten concepts were nominated for the prize-money of Euro 20,000. All ten concepts are on display until 19 November 2005 in a special exhibition at the Medica 2005 in the gallery of Hall 7.1. Furthermore, an extensive programme in the life science career forum will point out and improve career options for physicians, scientists, engineers and product designers with regards to the life sciences and product/material design. The participants include Qiagen, the Fraunhofer SCAI, Wyeth Pharma, and many others.





The nominated concepts as well as the presentations, which have been held at the life science design conference in May this year, form the basis of the life science design report. The book is supplemented by articles from scientists and designers as well as a service section, thus giving a comprehensive overview of the current developments in the growing life science design market. The book has been published in English and is available in book stores (ISBN 3-89939-078-4).




Dates and details:


About the life science design award: concepts (lsda)

In cooperation with the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, the Life Science Agency (LSA)organised the first “life science design award:concepts” (lsda) competition for new ideas and concepts which meet the demands on innovative product forms in the life sciences and thus influence the design of humane future products. The target group included product designers as well as scientists and entrepreneurs from the life sciences.


From approximately 70 entries an international jury has nominated ten concepts, which are exhibited at the MEDICA in the gallery of Hall 7 OG. The prize-money of Euro 20,000 was also presented at the MEDICA.


The international jury consists of the following five representatives from the fields of research, design, and media: Andreas Haug, Phoenix Design in Stuttgart; Tapani Hyvönen, ED-Design in Turku, Finland; Melanie Ruprecht, DIE ZEIT magazine in Hamburg; Prof. Dr. Rainer M.M. Seibel, Mülheim Radiology Institute and Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Essen.


The Düsseldorf Trade Fair and the Life Technologies Ruhr/Projekt Ruhr are project partners; DIE ZEIT magazine and MIT Technology Review are media partners of the lsda.





Award winners of the life science design award: concepts:


1st place (10,000 Euro):

Surgeons in cyberspace

“Sphere – an operating room scenario ”, piu products, Essen


2nd place (7,000 Euro):

Natural contraception via skin-reading

“ovu`love ”, Wilddesign, Gelsenkirchen and GEO -Design, Japan


3rd place (3,000 Euro):

Neck vertebrae fixation without screws

“Crano – a cervical orthosis ”, Julia Hanisch and Timo Wurz, College of Design, University of Applied Sciences Schwäbisch Gmünd


Special mention:

Decoding the sense of smell

“From smellin g receptor to bio-sensor ”, Ruhr-University Bochum, chair for cell physiology, Bochum




Further nominees:


Operating brains quickly

“LAXAR OP -System ”, Andrea Feuerabend and Friedemann Schreiber, College of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd, University of Applied Sciences


Making cartilage grow and sponges disappear

“Innovatives 3D-Design von Biomaterialien für die Regenerative Medizin”, Matricel, Herzogenrath


Testing babies’ hearing

“OtoRead”, DESIGN/NORD and Interacoustics A/S,Denmark


Increased sensation with the lower leg prosthesis

“Otto Bock Harmony System”, Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH, Duderstadt


Memory aid for dementia sufferers

“Senso. My Personal Lifebook”, Pelin Celik and Pilotfish GmbH, Munich


Reducing pain, but controlling painkillers

“Lockout System”, Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbH, Radolfzell, and item design & development, Ascheberg

Essen/ Düsseldorf, 28 April 2005

First international Competition for Life Sciences and Design

Medicine with a Vision: Life Science Design


Press release of 15 June 2005


Essen/ Düsseldorf, 28 September 2005

Ten concepts receive awards from jury in ‘life science design award: concepts’ competition


Essen/ Düsseldorf, 16 November 2005

Award presentation of the life science design award: concepts