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Best LIFE Environment Projects 2008-2009

This is the fifth year that we have selected LIFE Environment 'Best of the Best' (BoB) projects that are just that little bit better than the rest. Indeed, they can be held up as models for others as to what a successful, innovative, well-designed and wellexecuted project should look like.
Following an initial review carried out by its external monitoring team, the Commission selected the 22 most outstanding LIFE Environment projects from the 90 projects completed in 2008. Using the same criteria as in previous years, the Member States then reviewed these top 22 projects: the five BoBs came out particularly well and the 17 "best" projects also scored very highly. The five "Best of the Best" LIFE Environment Projects 2008-2009 are drawn from diverse sectors and include: the development and demonstration of a prototype transcritical CO2 refrigeration system; new and environmentally friendly oriented-strandboard (OSB) panels; a new eco-spray system (NESS); an eco-sustainable drawing system for processing steel wire rods and by-products; and a high rate enzyme hydrolysis system for treating sewage. My colleague, Ms. Herlinde Vanhoutte, took on the delicate work of coordinating this selection process. She went on maternity leave shortly after completing this task and will be pleased to hear that the process "gave birth" to such an exciting outcome. In her name, I would like to thank all the colleagues from the Member States who evaluated the contenders. I would like to cite all 30 evaluators, but special thanks should go to Margareta Stubenrauch, Isabel Lico, Eleni Stylianopoulou, Annika Vahersalu, Pekka Harju-Autti, Brian Early, Nicole Kerkhof, Nicoleta Dobre and Katarina Likesova for being the "largest"  contributors. I would also like to thank the project beneficiaries and their partners for their excellent work in favour of the environment. To shine a spotlight on the top five, the European Commission's LIFE Unit organised a well-attended award presentation session during Green Week in Brussels on the 24th June 2009. The higher profile that the best projects receive through these awards ensures that more people know about the LIFE programme and the projects it sponsors. I hope that these awards continue into the future and continue to grow in stature and range in the coming years.