European IST Prize 1999 honours Swedish Information Technology and medical innovation

Helsinki 23 November 1999In a prestigious Awards Ceremony at the Finlandia Hall during the Information Society Technologies Conference, European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen presented this year's three IST Grand Prize Winners with a specially sculpted trophy, together with an award of 200.000 euro. The lucky winners, all companies from Sweden, are C Technologies AB for C Pen, a hand-held electronic reading, writing and translating pen, communicating with PCs via IrDA; Effnet AB for ROC, a router assembled on a PCI-card, transforming a server to a multi-functional communication platform; and CyPak AB for the medically inspired CyPak, an intelligent interactive packaging designed for the safer use and administration of drugs. The system equally monitors how patients follow prescriptions and their subjective experience of the treatment administered.


The European IST Prize is organised by the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering (Euro-CASE), with the sponsorship and support of the Information Society Technologies Programme of the European Commission. Now in its sixth year, the European IST Prize is an award for groundbreaking products that represent the best of European innovation in information technology. It provides public recognition and a highly visible profile to entrepreneurial teams that excel in generating and converting novel ideas and R&D into marketable products. The high standard of applicants and the competitive screening procedure for selecting the Winners make this Prize the most distinguished for Information Technology driven products. The competition this year attracted 261 entries from companies in 27 European countries and from Israel.

The three Grand Prize Winners were selected from a short list of twenty five Winners by an independent Executive Jury appointed by the 17 Euro-CASE Academies and chaired by Sir Derek Roberts CBE FREng FRS, former Joint Deputy Technical Managing Director of GEC and retired Provost of University College in London. Each Winner company received a Prize of 5000 euro and the Winner Certificate. CyPak AB, one of the Grand Prize Winners, is active in the health care sector. The company developed a proprietary, interactive packaging system with integrated functionality for data collection. Initially, this system was designed for applications within clinical trials or health care applications. Since its inception in 1996, the winning CyPak invention has been developed at JE Systemkonsult AB, a consultant company specialising in turn-key hardware and software solutions.

In health care and clinical trials where patients carry responsibility for their medication and are recording experience for their treatment, it is generally difficult to prove the reliability of the collected data. Accurate data is crucial for safe medical treatment and for the evaluation of benefits and side-effects in the development of new pharmaceutical products. CyPak AB provides an interactive packaging system, based upon a cardboard packaging delivered with integrated microelectronics. The system features unique capabilities for time-tagged data collection, monitoring, tracking and patient reminding in the product packaging. CyPak allows the recording of all events related to changes in the product packaging, such as a removed item, a broken seal, an opened lid, a pressed surface, a written signature etc.

CyPak offers an innovative proprietary wireless data communication method for efficient and reliable data transmission between the product packaging and existing data management systems through a simple PC connection. As such, CyPak helps patients in following drug dose regimen and provides the pharmaceutical industry with a reliable and flexible system for enhancing the efficiency of clinical trials, as well as the quality of data. The team behind the invention involves one engineer and one industrial designer supported by business, marketing and legal expertise. Recently, the product development company CyPak AB has been established to further commercialisation of the invention. You can find more details on CyPak and the other two Grand Prize Winners at the Web site of the European IST Prize.

Leslie Versweyveld

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