British virtualisation technology developer Transistive scooped one of three grand prizes at the 2007 European ICT Prize ceremony today. The European ICT Prize, designed to reward breakthrough technologies, was established in 1995 but this was the first time the event took place at CeBIT. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media announced 20 winners in total, but only three firms took the €200,000 Grand Prize.

Manchester-based Transistive offers a hardware virtualisation product that allows applications that have been designed for one operating system and processor to run on computers that use a different setup. A spokesman for the six-year-old company said the technology has already been adopted by industry heavyweights such as Apple, IBM, Intel and Silicon Graphics.

The second Grand Prize award went to Austrian firm Treventus, developer of the ScanRobot – book-scanning hardware that automatically turns and scans pages at a rate of up to 2,400 pages per hour. “It's an ICT answer to Europe's endeavour for mass digitisation to preserve books and even whole libraries,” said a spokesperson for the company.

Sweden-based mobile voice and messaging firm Telepo was the other Grand Prize winner. The company says its technology allows business users to access traditionally fixed-line services like corporate directories, conference calling, and voice mails anytime and anywhere. They can also save up to 50 percent on the cost of fixed calls and 80 percent on roaming charges.