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Disinfection and medicine in the focus of the projects of the Swedish Gran Prize Awardees in 2016

PRESS RELEASE

Budapest, 30 May, 2016.

Disinfection and medicine in the focus of the projects of the Swedish Gran Prize Awardees in 2016


The Gran Prize Board this year has selected two winners of the prize after long evaluation process, given two applied projects satisfy simultaneously all criteria of the AWARD.

Dr. Tamás Haidegger and his team for Semmelweis hand hygiene scanner and Dr. István Kézsmárki and his team, MTA-BME Lendület Magneto-optical Spectroscopy Research Group for Development of Novel Malaria Diagnostic Methods.

HandInScan

The winning project gives to the users Software-based, objective, personalized feedback on the quality of hand hygiene. 
The innovative technology is based on validated, evidence-based IT methods, tested on over 17,000 healthcare workers, ensuring real-time evaluation of hand rubbing, which is a compulsory protocol at healthcare institutions, biotech facilities and in the food industry.

The Hand-in-Scan team is fostering behavioural changes by providing personalized training and audit service for its users. It introduces personal accountability though an objective reporting system which can be fully integrated to a hospital Information system. 

The general objective of the Semmelweis Scanner - to provide quality assured hand hygiene control to people improving the quality of their life.

Novel Malaria Diagnostic Methods

Dr. István Kézsmárki, the leader of the Group, initiated the development of the two malaria diagnostic methods and supervised the whole project. 

Malaria is still one of the most devastating diseases of the globe, even though it is preventable and treatable. Annually, 200 million malaria infections demand more than half a million lives in 97 countries. 
The MTA-BME Lendület Magneto-optical Spectroscopy Research Group led by Dr. István Kézsmárki has joined this important research agenda a few years ago and has developed a cost-effective and highly sensitive, automatized malaria diagnostic device. The instrument is based on a simple off-the shelf laser diode and permanent magnets. Its first prototype has been constructed and tested by the doctoral students Ádám Butykai and Ágnes Orbán. The first validation steps performed on laboratory parasite cultures and infected mice underlined the extreme sensitivity of the instrument qualifying it as a potential candidate for in-field diagnostic use. 
Furthermore, the instrument has also proved to be efficient in monitoring the inhibitory effects of antimalarial drugs. With the increasing resistance of parasites against first line treatments, the investigation of novel drug candidate molecules is of crucial importance. The device offers an inexpensive, yet highly sensitive method that can find application in drug development.
In the near future the Group intends to pursue malaria research along various lines: testing human patient samples as the next step of validation is scheduled this summer in Thailand. Furthermore, they have initiated the establishment of a Plasmodium culture laboratory in Budapest, which would be a unique facility not only in Hungary, but also in Central Europe. 

"The Gran Prize Board of Judges believes that 150 years after Ignaz Semmelweis is still crucial to adapt innovative methods aiming to improve quality of human life in our society “- said Mr. János Takács, Chairman of the Swedish Chamber at the gran Gala in Gundel. The Chamber expressed its deepest gratitude to the Supporters, ERICSSON and SIGMA TECHNOLOGY for their generous support and cooperation.

„GRAN PRIZE” Interdisciplinary Award 

As an active player of the Hungarian economy and society and good corporate citizens both the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary and its members devote significant resources for charity purposes every year. 
Four years ago the Chamber has taken the decision to establish an award to honour those working on outstanding solutions to the most urgent and crucial challenges facing the planet today, in the field of environmental protection, sustainable development, human rights, medicine, health protection and development and education yearly once. The GRAN PRIZE awarding committee contents of 3 SCCH Board members and invited delegates of different associations, institutions. The committee nominates and selects the winner of the prize.

GRAN in Swedish language means pine, refers to the sustainable and environment-conscious aspects of the prize. GRAN PRIZE is open to everyone, in compliance with the Swedish consensus-based thinking and intention of Swedish - Hungarian co-operation.
The award is available for individuals, groups, companies, associations, institutions or students, student groups.
SCCH separates an amount of HUF 5 million from its share capital and offers yearly interest of this amount for establishment of the GRAN PRIZE, inviting other conscious decision-makers, individuals to donate the prize as well.

GRAN PRIZE Award Ceremony the GRAN GALA on 26 May, 2016, was dedicated to the memory of Carl von Linné, a Swedish naturalist, one of the most appreciated scientists in Europe. 

Evaluation criteria of the AWARD:
- Novelty ( innovation, original idea ) 
- Social responsibility 
- Sustainable thinking 
- Environmental care 
- Economic potential 
-Technological aspect 
- Interdisciplinary approach

The GRAN PRIZE sculpture is an art-piece created by Swedish artist Ann Lundin and Hungarian artist Károly Szász, made of pebble and glass with a pine relief on its top, the amalgam of a timeless survivor with Human touch on innovation. The each year statue should be different but in series of pebble and glass with a GRAN pine relief !
As part of the prize, the awardee received as a token appreciation, a Swedish pine tree, CITRUS ATLANTICUS from the Folly Arboretum founded in 1878, to be planted at the awardee’s alma mater.

SWEDISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN HUNGARY

Was established in Budapest on October 27th, 1995. The initiative was taken by a number of Swedish companies in Hungary together with the Swedish Trade Council and the Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken in response to the expanding economic and commercial relations between Hungary and Sweden. 

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary is a non-profit, non-political organisation, a leading voice of the Swedish businesses in Hungary. 

The general purpose of the Chamber is to promote and contribute to the development of trade and business relations and business related initiatives and activities between Hungary and Sweden, to support the business interests of its members. Our task is to stimulate mutual co-operation and friendship between Hungary and Sweden, to encourage trade investments and economic developments and to help our member’s monitor, understand and influence procedures within the Hungarian business community. 

Figures and Facts: ( based on 2015 data )

Members ( Ordinary, Associated and Honorary ) : 89 

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