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Research and innovation

Horizon Prize on materials for clean air

What the prize was about, why it was needed, details of winners and finalists, communication materials

The winner is announced

On 30 October 2018, the Winner of the Horizon Prize on Materials for Clean Air was announced at the Industrial Technologies 2018conference in Vienna.

The €3 million Horizon Prize has been awarded to a research team from Corning SAS France, led by Dr Jean-Jacques Theron, for their ceramic honeycomb particulate matter filter.

The second runner-up is Dr John Gallagher from Trinity College Dublin.

The challenge set for this prize was to develop an innovative and well-designed material solution to reduce the concentration of particulate matter in the air. Dr Theron and his team won the Prize for the maturity of the technology and its proven ability to improve the air quality in urban areas.

Technical factsheet 410 KB

Horizon magazine:Ceramic honeycomb air filters could cut city pollution

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Why this prize

Particulate matter (PM) is the air pollutant which has the most severe impact on health.

Currently, around 90% of the population of European cities for which PM data exist is exposed to levels exceeding WHO air quality guidelines levels.

Average life expectancy in the European Union is estimated to be 8.6 months lower due to exposure to particulate matter resulting from human activities. The inhalation of particulate matter can lead to asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and premature death.

In addition to its impact on human health, particulate matter can also have adverse effects on climate change and ecosystems.


The Horizon Prize on materials for clean air was awarded to the most affordable, sustainable and innovative design-driven material solution that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas.