Minister of Science Martin Polaschek presented the Danubius Awards 2023 to researchers from the Danube Region for their scientific achievements.

On 19 October, researchers who have made outstanding contributions to the Danube Region were honoured at the Danubius Awards 2023. Ass.-Prof. Dr. Marco Beaumont from the Institute of Chemistry of Renewable Resources at BOKU was honoured this year with the "Danubius Mid-Career Award 2023". The "Danubius Award 2023" went to Univ.-Prof. PD Dr. Andreas H. Farnleitner MSc.Tox. (TU Vienna as well as Karl Landsteiner Private University). In addition, 14 young scientists from the Danube region received the "Danubius Young Scientist Award".

Scientific excellence

Martin Polaschek, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research, congratulated the award winners and emphasised the high relevance of excellent scientific research for Austria as a science location and for the Danube Region. "The award winners impressively demonstrate the fundamental contribution of science to the preservation of the Danube Region as a living and economic area and to the development of solutions in the sense of sustainability. I congratulate Univ. Prof. Dr. Farnleitner and Ass. Prof. Dr. Beaumont on their well-deserved award and thank them for their scientific commitment," emphasises the Federal Minister. "I am also pleased that we have awarded the Danubius Young Scientist Awards for the tenth time this year, thus contributing to the visibility of the excellent talents in the region. I warmly congratulate all the award winners on their success. With their outstanding performance, they are taking our research and science location a big step further.

Aquatic plants as raw material

Marco Beaumont's research is dedicated to the utilisation of biomass waste streams and the development of sustainable chemical processes for the modification of biopolymers. His work contributes to the development of local biorefinery concepts that use aquatic plants from the Danube region as raw materials and aim to support the development of a future biobased economy in this region. Beaumont, who heads the Chemistry of Renewable Nanomaterials research group at the Institute of Chemistry of Renewable Resources, is delighted with the award: "The Danubius Mid-Career Award not only recognises my work, but also opens new doors for future collaborations in my research area. It is a significant milestone in my career." Institute Director Prof. Dr Thomas Rosenau emphasises that "Dr Beaumont's work impressively demonstrates how scientific research can lead directly to innovative solutions. The Danubius Mid-Career Award is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding commitment to the field of chemistry of renewable raw materials."

Award categories and selection

The "Danubius Award" has been awarded annually since 2011 on a rotating basis for achievements in the humanities, cultural and social sciences or in the life sciences (2023) and is endowed with 5,000 euros.

The "Danubius Mid-Career Award" is endowed with 2,200 euros and has been awarded since 2017 to researchers up to a maximum of 15 years after their last formal academic degree who have provided important impulses for the Danube region in their academic career.

The two award winners were selected by an independent expert jury chaired by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Gerzabek (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna).

The "Danubius Young Scientist Awards" have also been presented since 2014. These young scientist awards, which are open to all disciplines, highlight the scientific work and talent of young researchers and help to ensure that young researchers engage with the Danube and the Danube region in a variety of ways. The young researchers' awards are endowed with 1,350 euros per award winner. The selection was made by an international peer review.

With these awards, the BMBWF is contributing to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) adopted by the European Council in 2011.

This translation was created with AI support.