On 18 March 2005, an awards ceremony was held at Phoenix Contact in Blomberg, Germany for the xplore innovation competition, 'New Automation' Award 2005. This year the ceremony took place under the auspices of the federal minister for education and research, Mrs Edelgard Bulmahn. Thirty groups from 10 nations - including teams from South Africa, Turkey, France, Spain, Slovakia, Russia, and Italy - competed in the categories of 'buildings', 'ecology', 'education', 'net', 'factory' and 'recreation'.
The goal of the competition is to encourage new ideas in automation technology through selective sponsoring, with the aim of implementing the ideas. Through lectures and presentations of real project results, each of the partaking vocational schools and universities explain what they have developed and built over the previous eight months. To help the teams to realise their ideas, the electronics manufacturer donated 3000 euros to each team.
The winner of this year's competition in the 'buildings' category was the team from the Bad Hersfeld technical college. Its concept was for an intelligent greenhouse controller. The 'ecology' prize went to the technical vocational school of Kiel for an automobile lighting system that saves energy and offers more safety. The project group from Vocational School 1 in Mainz won in the 'education' category with their pneumatic robot that moves like a spider. First place in the 'net' category was assigned to the Hoge School of West Vlaanderen, Belgium, for their fully automated laundromat. In the 'factory' category, a further team from Vocation School 1 in Mainz beat the other teams with their automatic testing facility for material pressure regulating valves. And last but not least, the Technical School of Augusto Righi in Treviglio, Italy, won the 'recreation' category with their robot that can climb walls.
On 11 April 2005, the German Minister for Education and Research, Mrs Edelgard Bulmahn, personally presented the winners with their awards at the Phoenix Contact stand of the Hannover Trade Fair.
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