Prime Minister launches £1m Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

21 Nov 2011

A new international engineering prize worth £1m has been launched at the Science Museum in London by David Cameron. The award aims to celebrate work that benefits society and to inspire young people to become engineers. The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering will be awarded by an independent trust every two years with the first set to take place in 2013.

Cameron said, 'High-skilled, high-value manufacturing and engineering should be a central part of our long term future', adding that he hopes rewarding excellence will 'rebalance the UK economy, which for too long has been over-reliant on consumer debt and financial services'.

The award could help to reward some of the people responsible for innovation in the sector while simultaneously encouraging businesses to innovate as they strive to secure the funding that winning would provide.

Lord Browne, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize Foundation, said, 'Too often the engineers behind the most brilliant innovations remain hidden – The Queen Elizabeth Prize aims to change that. It will celebrate, on an international scale, the very best engineering in the world'.

Candidates from around the world are able to win the prize, which is funded by 11 British and Indian companies, including BP. Organisers hope that the £1m award will come to rival the level of prestige enjoyed by the Nobel Prize.

Further information

BBC News video of the prize launch