The 2018 Roullier Innovation Awards: contest summary and award winners

The 2018 Roullier Innovation Awards: contest summary and award winners

Written by Groupe Roullier / published in Innovation

 After a 9-month contest, the winners of the 2018 Roullier Innovation Awards have been revealed.  The two winning scientific projects received their awards on 28th June, at a prize-giving ceremony organised at Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier.

In October 2017, the Groupe Roullier began accepting submissions for the Innovation Awards, an international Plant Nutrition competition that rewards the two best research projects relating to the Groupe Roullier’s fields of expertise.

No less than 60 projects were entered for the awards, submitted by universities and research institutes from all over the world.  Some 30 nationalities were represented, with scientific submissions coming notably from Brazil, the USA, France, Italy, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and many more. 

Selecting the winners was a difficult task, as all the projects dealt with the primary aspects of the Groupe Roullier’s work, such as:

  • Soil microbiology (one third of the projects)
  • Reduction of losses and environmental impact via enhanced uptake of nutrients, including nitrogen,
  • Abiotic stress: water, salinity, global warming
  • Biocontrol

The Group’s internal scientific committee made an initial selection of 10 finalists. From this list, the jury named the following two winners:

  • ITALY: Dr Laura Zanin, Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences at the University of Udine, for her work on improved effectiveness of nitrogen for better assimilation by the plant, and a reduction in losses to the environment.
  • AUSTRIA: Prof Dr Walter W. Wenzel,  BOKU (Vienna),University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Forest and Soil Science, Institute of Soil Research, for his work on soil microbiology, which is now a vast field of experimentation in which only 10% of microorganisms that make up the field are known. This is a major area of interest for the Group, which started out with marine limestone in 1959.

Not only will these two research laboratories receive a prize of €60,000 each, but they will also sign a partnership contract with the CMI for a period of one year, during which they will have the opportunity to use some of its unique equipment to carry out their research projects.

What’s more, the relevance of projects put forward will lead the Group to develop new partnerships with many of the universities that applied. This will enable CMI Roullier to enrich its expertise in Plant Nutrition in order to develop new and exclusive solutions, but also to advance research in a wider sense and make the CMI a real accelerator of Innovation.

To revisit the various stages of the contest, you can visit our website and follow us on social media (Twitter/ LinkedIn).