Intelligent achievements

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Finmeccanica presented its 2008 Innovation Awards, devised to generate ideas and projects that contribute value to the company, at a ceremony in Edinburgh earlier this month.

The awards attracted more than 900 entries. From the 72 that reached the final stage, three important innovations were chosen for an award.

Alenia Aeronautica received an award for a project to recycle the pre-impregnated composite material scraps generated in aircraft manufacture.

Selex Galileo received an award for its participation in the UK MoD Grand Challenge, winning the competition to produce an innovative approach to tackling the potential threats in an urban environment using a combination of two small UAVs and an unmanned ground vehicle.

Telespazio received an award for its Persistent Scatter Pairs, a system for measurements of millimetric terrain displacements by satellite radar interferometry. This technology compares two satellite radar images so that movement on the Earth’s surface of only a few millimetres per year can be identified.

Presenting the awards, science minister Lord Drayson said: ‘Awards like this are vital because it is really important to make heroes of our scientists and engineers, which is central to getting out of this recession. Finmeccanica is based in the UK and continental Europe, and is built on a real understanding of how to be local and global at the same time. It is a high-value, high-tech industry that puts a premium on technological intelligence.’