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12 July 2018

Atom awarded by European Commission for Fennec turbine

The STARTS Prize is the grand prize of the European Commission that honors projects that demonstrate the successful integration of science, technology and art to contribute to social and economic innovation.

European Commission’s STARTS Initiative is under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

This competition is held in conjunction with the S+T+ARTS =STARTS Initiative – innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS – of the European Commission, which sees the digital transformation of industry, culture and society as the primary force driving new forms of collaboration that advance innovation by transcending the boundaries of disciplines and genres. The fundamental principle: effectively linking up technology and artistic practice is a win-win situation for both European innovation policymaking as well as the world of art. This initiative spotlights projects and people that can make meaningful contributions to mastering the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe now faces.


There were 2,344 entries from 88 countries submitted for STARTS Prize consideration.

Atom awarded by European Commission for Fennec turbine at the interface of science, technology and art.

Jury Statement

Maxim Kuzin aimed to square the circle: Merging beauty, sustainable use, and longevity under harsh conditions. He succeeded by creating the Fennec Turbine. It carries on the best Russian traditions, because it works everywhere, under all conditions, without maintenance and it has a deeper purpose of making our world more sustainable. Inspired by a hyperboloid shell structure from the Russian past, Kuzin transferred it from a static plane to a full-fledged dynamic space using supercomputing powers and futuristic alloys from aviation. The resulting structure made of aluminum blades with an optimal airfoil profile looks more like an almost weightless sculpture or a precious vase. Yet it is inherently practical, would look beautiful on every urban roof, and produces power in conditions under which other products cannot work effectively. The STARTS Jury gave Maxim Kuzin an Honorary Mention and sees his project as truly European.

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