The Pirelli Internetional Award was first offered in 1996, as the first international multimedia competition for the communication of science & technology conducted entirely on the internet. Since then, annual awards have been granted to the best multimedia presentations focussing on themes involving the diffusion of science and technology. The multimedia presentations must deal with either physics, chemistry, mathematics, life sciences, or the enabling information and communication technologies that empower multimedia itself. According to Marco Tronchetti Provera, President of the Pirelli Group, the award was established in the belief that the diffusion of social, economic and technological advances are as important as their discovery. As the name indicates, the award is sponsored by the Pirelli Corporation.
An international jury of notable people including Nobel Prize laureates reviews the top entries.
With an overall budget prize of 105,000 euro (about US$ 130,000), awards are granted in the following major categories: physics, chemistry, mathematics, life sciences, and information and communications technology.
This category rewards the best multimedia works coming from the field of physics and amounts to an award of 15,000 euro.
This category rewards the best multimedia works coming from the field of chemistry and amounts to an award of 15,000 euro.
This category rewards the best multimedia work coming from the field of mathematics and amounts to an award of 15,000 euro.
This category rewards the best multimedia work coming from the field of life sciences and amounts to an award of 15,000 euro.
Information and Communications Technology
This special category prize rewards those multimedia works which represent a relevant contribution to Information and Communications Technology by means of a product, process, or service, and is deemed to be of particular significance to the jury in that the Pirelli Internetional Award is predicated in large degree to contributions such as these. The Information and Communications Technology prize amounts to 15,000 euro.
Top Pirelli Prize
The Top Pirelli Prize is the supreme recognition that the international jury grants a multimedia work which best embodies the philosophy of the Pirelli Internetional Award. In fact, the Top Pirelli Prize is considered the overall winner. It amounts to an additional 10,000 euro on top of the monetary award granted in any of the five regular categories. The Top Pirelli Prize was first awarded in 2001 (five years after the inception of the Pirelli Award) to Prof. Robert C. Michelson for his work on the Entomopter, a biologically inspired insect-like aerial robot.
Past Award Winners
Winners of the Pirelli Award (First Prize for best from any institution, and Top Pirelli Prize):
1996 First Prize: Elisa Manacorda (Italy) for GalileoNet.it
1998 First Prize: Jurgen Renn (Germany) for the Institute and Museum of the History of Science
1999 First Prize: Ericsson Medialab (Sweden) for Warriors of the Net
2003 First Prize and Top Pirelli Prize: David Grubin Productions, Thirteen/WNET and Docstar (USA) for Secret Life of the Brain
2005 First Prize and Top Pirelli Prize: Roeland van der Marel and Gijs Verdoes Kleijn (Space Telescope Science Institute, Netherlands/USA) and Educational Web Adventures (Netherlands/USA) for Black Holes: Gravity's Relentless Pull
2006 First Prize and Top Pirelli Prize: New Index (Norway) for the Interactive Mobile Whiteboard
2007 First Prize and Top Pirelli Prize: Space Telescope Institute/Google (USA) for Google Sky
In a July 2, 2008 communique, author and manager of the Pirelli Internetional Award, Massimo Armeni, announced that Pirelli would no longer be conducting the award on an annual basis, however no indication was given as to when the next competition for the award would be announced.
- Pirelli INTERNETional Award - The Multimedia Science Communication Prize
- "Education Section and Pirelli Top Prize". 2001-10-10. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
- "2001 Pirelli Award and First Top Pirelli Prize-- Award Ceremony". 2001-10-10. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
- "Pirelli Prize update regarding hiatus after Twelfth Edition". 2013-01-22. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-25.