(These are the Special Award details for BTYS&TE11 - the 2012 ones will be loaded soon)



Google believes in ground-breaking projects and unconventional technology. Our Trailblazer Award recognises the best individual male, best individual female and best group who have made an innovative use of computing technology in their project.

The winners (plus a guardian if necessary) will have the opportunity to visit one of the Google research sites in Europe (the choice of site will be determined by the students' interests) where they will be able to take part in tours, workshops and get involved in some hands-on work!

Winning projects make innovative use of Computer Science and Technology to solve a real–world problem.

Criteria - A good project will demonstrate:
1. Innovation - The project represents a genuinely new approach or a significantly improved solution to an existing problem.
2. High performance - the creator has thought about speed, efficiency and stability
3. Focus on the user (for user-facing products)

  • - the needs of the user have been assessed
  • - the project is usable
  • - the creator has thought about user experience: the intended user finds it enjoyable, useful and intuitive

Category - All

Age Group - All

Awards - Best Female, Best Male and Best Group



The EPA protects the environment for everyone in the country.  We regulate and police activities that might otherwise cause pollution.  We ensure there is solid information on environmental trends so that necessary actions are taken.  Our priorities are protecting the Irish environment and ensuring that development is sustainable.  We employ 290 people who work in ten locations throughout the country.

Criteria - The EPA is delighted to sponsor an award that will encourage and reward thought, investigation, debate and action on Ireland's environment. The award is for the best environmental project. The project's results should demonstrate a contribution to the protection and improvement of the natural environment, for present and future generations. This award can be made across all age groups and all categories.

Category - All

Age Group - All

HEANet Special Award


HEAnet is Ireland's National Education and Research Network - providing high quality Internet and associated ICT services to over 180,000 students and staff in Irish Universities, Institutes of Technology and the research and education community, including all primary and post-primary schools, bringing total end-user number up to approximately 1 million.

Criteria - The project which shows the most practical and innovative use of network technology in performing background research for the project and/or collaborating with other team members, teachers etc.

Category - All

Age Group - All

HP Special Award


HP "Innovation4Good" Award

HP is the world's leading technology company and the largest IT and Services provider in Ireland, employing about 4,000 people in Dublin, Kildare, Galway and Belfast. HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society.

Powerful forces are transforming how the world lives and works, placing unprecedented demands on everything from our healthcare and education systems to our energy grid. We need bold thinking, new solutions, a fresh approach. Technology holds the key. By using resources more efficiently, harnessing the power of information and sparking wider innovation, we can use technology to meet rising social and environmental needs and change the equation for generations to come.

HP's commitment to Social Innovation and education stretches back more than six decades. HP focuses on programs and organizations that help educators build skills and use technology to enhance lessons and re-imagine their approach to teaching. We help educators combine excellent instruction with the unique capabilities of technology to transform the learning experience. Part of our emphasis on education is cultivating tomorrow's entrepreneurs. HP works with organizations to help young people acquire the IT skills and knowledge required to succeed in the workforce, launch new businesses and help their local communities prosper."

Criteria - To identify a specific societal / community need in health, education, the environment or other sectors and either adapt an existing commercial solution or create an entirely new solution to address the societal challenge. Be able to demonstrate how technology is part of the solution.

Category - All

Age Group - All


IBM is the longest established IT multinational in Ireland. Over 3,500 are employed in Dublin, Cork and Galway. IBM has a diverse portfolio of businesses in Ireland including sales and services, hardware and software manufacturing, software development, telesales and marketing, an International Financial Services Solutions Centre and a Corporate Treasury Centre. From IBM's inception almost a century ago, we have been in the business of engaging with forward-thinkers across business, science and society to make the world work better. We believe that when people think about how the world should work, they will be driven to challenge the status quo and change it. The benefits will flow not just to them but to their communities and global society.Today, around the world, we see the infusion of intelligence into companies, entire industries and natural ecosystems, which is why you may have been hearing about "smart power grids," "smart healthcare,""smart education," "smart supply chains,""smart bays" and the like. Building a smarter planet isn't simply a recipe for economic growth; it's also a recipe for radically expanded economic and societal
opportunity. It's not just a way to make the planet more efficient, but also to make it more sustainable.

Criteria - Smarter Planet Award - for the project that best exemplifies making intelligent use of data collected from the real world. Our world is becoming increasingly instrumented and interconnected, with the result that we can collect data from sources never before possible. But all this information only truly becomes interesting as it is used to unlock creative insights, make decisions, or automate processes, and when it is made available through open standards for further use by other systems.  This award recognises the project, from any category, which best exemplifies collecting data from some aspect of the physical world and using technology to turn that data into intelligence that can be actioned - making some aspect of our world "smarter".  To learn more visit:

Category - All

Age Group - All


IOTI is the representative body for 13 of Ireland's Institutes of Technology, which are recognised as a major success story in Irish education.

The Institutes of Technology operate a unique system in that they allow students to progress from two year (associate degree programmes) through primary degree to Masters and PhD. Institutes of Technology awards are integrated with the highest award levels of the Irish National Qualification Framework which in turn is aligned to the Bologna Framework. They are to the forefront in ensuring that Ireland's modern economy continues to have the requisite array of leading-edge skills demanded by our knowledge-based industries.

The Institutes provide programmes that reflect current and emerging knowledge and practices and promote self-management, critical analysis, decision making and entrepreneurship. They foster graduates ready to undertake roles, responsibilities and challenges in business, industry, the professions, public services and society.

Criteria - Award for the project that best illustrates how science impacts all our lives for the better, with particular emphasis on how this message can be translated to the classroom.
Evaluation criteria will be:

  1. Effectiveness with which the project demonstrates how science applies in real life situations.
  2. Effectiveness with which the project translates scientific theory into practice
  3. Clarity with which the scientific basis and/or value of the project is communicated.

Category - Special Awards across all categories,

Age Group - All


The Irish Medicines Board's role is to protect and enhance public and animal health through the regulation of medicines, medical devices and healthcare products. As the regulatory authority, the IMB aims to ensure that all medicines which can be purchased here are safe, effective and of high quality. It identifies and addresses safety issues so that medicines and medical devices do not compromise the health of those who use them.

Criteria - The IMB award will be presented to the project that most effectively promotes the safe and correct use of medicines and/or medical devices to the benefit of human or animal health.

The project can employ research, analysis, or investigation as required, to support the goal of increased public awareness and understanding of the need to use and access healthcare products safely and appropriately.

Category - All

Age Group - All


The Irish Science Teachers' Association is the largest subject association in the country. It was founded in 1961 and has 1200 members from all sectors of education. The ISTA functions as a body dedicated to the professional development of its members and the advancement of science teaching. The ISTA maintains links with other bodies involved in science education in Ireland and associations for science education in other countries. ISTA representatives on each of the NCCA subject course committees are involved in the development of new curricula.

Members may join the association online via its website at The website provides members with details of local branch meetings and national events as well as allowing communication between members via the forum facility. All members receive three issues of the ISTA journal Science during the year.

Pharmachemical Ireland sponsors the ISTA annual science quiz for senior science students, which is held during science week. Further details of ISTA activities may be obtained from the ISTA desk or at

Criteria - A project that best stimulates scientific interest or awareness within the school community.

Category - All

Age Group - All


Jack Restan Displays was founded in 1955 and has had a long association providing display services to the Young Scientists Exhibition

JRD design and build exhibition stands, special exhibits and interiors in Ireland and across the globe using the most innovative techniques.
We are pleased to present a special award this year to recognise our long standing relationship with this incredible project.

Criteria - This Award is for the project which presents the concepts, details, images and research findings etc in the clearest, interesting and most professional manner. Presentation method whether printed, screen based or other will be considered equally.

Category - All

Age Group - All


The Marie Keating Foundation has been established primarily to provide Breast Cancer Information and Awareness free of charge to the general public throughout the Republic of Ireland through three Mobile Cancer Information Units based in the Eastern, Western and Southern regions of Ireland. Through our involvement with the Young Scientist of the Year competition we wish to highlight our dedication and commitment to school going students. We value the significant part research plays in bringing about cancer awareness. We wish to acknowledge the integral part young scientists are playing in making this happen and value their contribution to cancer awareness in leading to early detection and ultimately cancer prevention.

Criteria - The Marie Keating award is to be presented to the best project that is most relevant to improving cancer awareness in all categories and all age groups of the competition.

Category - All

Age Group - All


Facilitating and encouraging the speaking and writing of Irish in the public and private arena in the Republic of Ireland, and in Northern Ireland where there is appropriate demand, in the context of part three of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages Foras Na Gaeilge promote the use of Irish as a living language, not just for the classroom. This award gives students an opportunity to use their Irish outside of the Irish class and in a field not usually associated with the Irish language.

Criteria - The Foras Na Gaeilge award is to be presented to the best Irish Language project and can be presented across any category and any age group.

Category - All

Age Group - All


University of Ulster

This new special award will be presented to the project that is deemed the best by the judges from all the Northern Ireland entries across all categories and age groups.

Criteria - Best Project from a Northern Ireland School - awarded by the Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster

The Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster, is delighted to award the project that best demonstrates excellence through thorough investigation of the initial problem, innovative and creative problem solving, that best shows potential to impact positively on the local economy in terms of commercial viability, and yet has been developed with respect for its environmental impact.

Category - All

Age Group - All


The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is tasked with improving safety on our roads in order to reduce death and injury resulting from road collisions. The RSA formally came into existence on the 1st September 2006. An objective of the RSA is to bring Ireland's Road Safety record into line with “best practice” countries throughout the world. The achievement of this objective will involve co-operation with many stakeholders working in the area of road safety. The RSA will work closely with the Education Sector because learning about road safety at an early age, has the power to change the behaviour of our young people. In changing road safety behaviour the RSA will reduce the number of road fatalities annually. The RSA will be continually investing in education and we will work with the Department of Education and Science to put Road Safety on the curriculum.

Criteria - The RSA Special Award project winner will have demonstrated that they have researched their project thoroughly and that they have shown that their invention/research initiative can be shown to make a difference and also that it could have the potential to reduce road fatalities on Irish roads. Any entry to the BT Young Scientists Exhibition in any category that covers a road safety topic or related topic that has the potential to reduce Irish road fatalities.

Category - All

Age Group - All


Eli Lilly and Company is a leading, innovation-driven corporation committed to developing a growing portfolio of best-in-class and first-in class pharmaceutical products that help people live longer, healthier and more active lives. Lilly products treat depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, osteoporosis and many other conditions. We are committed to providing answers that matter -through medicines and information -for some of the world's most urgent medical needs.

Criteria - The Eli Lilly prize will be awarded for the project with the best Chemistry content.

Category - Chemical, Physical & Mathematical

Age Group - All


The Institute of Physics in Ireland is the learned society and professional body for the advancement of physics and physics education on the island of Ireland. It has over 1700 members. The Institute of Physics in Ireland aims to promote the role of physics in education, health, the environment, technology and scientific literacy. To these ends, the membership is wide- ranging and multidisciplinary, including the educational, industrial, medical, and general public sectors. The Institute will seek common purpose with other learned societies to promote science and science-based learning and to influence science policy in the two jurisdictions on the island. Special emphasis is placed on supporting physics teachers by promoting, in our schools, the value, joy and benefits of knowledge of physics and its applications. The Institute of Physics in Ireland is one of thirteen regional branches of the Institute of Physics which has headquarters based in London.  

Criteria - The Institute of physics Award is to be presented to the project with the best physics content which can be in areas as diverse as energy, astronomy, environment, atmospheric science and materials.

Category - Chemical, Physical & Mathematical

Age Group - All



Health Research Board is the lead agency funding and supporting health research in
Ireland. We also manage health information systems linked to alcohol and drug use, mental
health and disability.

Better health research means better health care. More than 100,000 highly trained and skilled
people work in our health services. Many of these people are involved, directly or indirectly,
in research every day.

Young scientists will recognise the importance of health research, but they may not know
about the stimulating opportunities and the career potential. Health researchers can have a
background in nursing, social science, maths, medicine, computers, chemistry, physics or
biology and their work has a direct impact on patient care. We would encourage students to
think about a health research project that will improve our health.

Criteria - The HRB would like to award a Young Scientist who has conducted research that is
innovative and can have a direct impact on people's health or increase our understanding of
human health.

This could be:
- a new device or technology - an advance in our medical understanding
- new evidence about how certain behaviours (e.g. lack of exercise) impact on our health
- a new approach to patient care

Category - All

Age Group - Intermediate/Senior


Irish Aid - he Government of Ireland's official programme of assistance to developing countries is managed by Irish Aid: a division within the Department of Foreign Affairs. The overarching objective of Irish Aid is the reduction of poverty, inequality and exclusion in developing countries.

Self Help Africa - To promote long-term sustainable development for rural communities in East Africa.  This is achieved through projects which are ‘bottom-up' & community led, staffed by local expertise and focus on sustainable development – food security, access to clean water, access to education

Criteria - The winning project of the Irish Aid and Self Help Africa ‘Science for Development' award should:

1. Show a clear understanding of the causes of the issue in a Developing World context and a willingness to learn more.   [Issues could include: Food and livelihood security; the environment (e.g. deforestation, clean water and sanitation, fertile soil, soil erosion, fishery, energy, air quality, pollution, global warming); gender equality; appropriate technology; access to education; Health issues e.g. HIV/Aids, TB, etc]

2. Use appropriate and sustainable technology or solutions that can be adopted and implemented at local community level in African or other developing countries.

3. Demonstrate a clear understanding of partnership approach to development.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between the local (Ireland) and the global level in relation to the chosen development issue.

Examples of Elegible Projects

The winning project in 2007 outlined the physical requirements, in terms of space and cost, of an economically viable low tech agricultural desalination plant that could be re-produced by local people in developing countries using available resources that would allow for sufficient production of water for their own use and also for agricultural purposes. A prototype solar powered desalination plant was developed. 

The 2008 winning project was a prototype tubular hybrid pressure stove. The winning student researched the key cooking methods used in developing countries and incorporated this information as well as other factors such as the problem of access to clean water and fuel for cooking and indoor air pollution into her design. 

As part of her prize the winning student visited Ethiopia where she had an opportunity to test her prototype stove. An accompanying TV crew produced a documentary on her trip entitled 'The Big Idea' which was screened on RTE in May 2008

Category - All

Age Group - Intermediate & Senior


The Irish Patents office provides an efficient and effective system of industrial property protection that will encourage technological progress and promote enterprise through the implementation by the Office of the relevant legislation. The patent system has evolved to promote and reward innovation and invention. The Irish Patents Office is particularly interested in providing information to young technology innovators to stimulate technological advancement and to ensure that they are aware of how to protect their intellectual property rights.

Criteria - The Irish Patents Office Award will be made to the student or group of students whose project best demonstrates the use of technology in new or improved applications, enhanced efficiencies and novel innovations.

Category - Technology

Age Group - All


The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector (telecommunications, radiocommunications and broadcasting transmission) and the postal sector. We are the national regulatory authority for these sectors in accordance with EU law which is subsequently transposed into Irish legislation.

Our remit covers all kinds of transmission networks including

  • Traditional telephone wire
  • Traditional television and radio
  • Radio communications including fixed wireless
  • MMDS and deflector operators providing TV services
  • Mobile operators providing voice and data services
  • Licensing framework for satellite services in Ireland
  • Postal delivery network
  • Premium Rate Services

Criteria - The ComReg award will be presented to the project which provides the most innovative application of technology in radiocommunications.

Category - Technology

Age Group - All


Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is investing in scientific and engineering research underpinning the Biotechnology (BIO), Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies sectors in the third level institutions in Ireland. SFI will build and strengthen scientific and engineering research and its infrastructure in the areas of greatest strategic value to Ireland’s long-term competitiveness and development. SFI supports the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in order to promote the benefits of investing in scientific and engineering research to young people and the general public and to encourage young people to consider undertaking research careers in science and engineering.

Criteria - Science Foundation Ireland would like this award to be made to the project that most advances research in the areas of science and/or engineering supporting sustainable energy and energy efficient technologies.

Category - Biological & Ecological, Technology, Chemical, Physical & Mathematical

Age Group - All


NAPD represents Principals and Deputy Principals at post-primary level. The Association aims to provide a united voice nationally for Principals and Deputy Principals on issues of common concern.

Criteria - This year NAPD are sponsoring an award for the best school overall - this is calculated on a points system based on the numbers and types of awards an individual school wins.

Category - All

Age Group - All


The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) manages Ireland's domain name - all Internet addresses ending in .ie. When the Internet began addresses consisted of a string of numbers. Domain names simplified these numbers into easy to remember names such as .ie is Ireland's identity on the Internet.

The IE Domain Registry Award will be presented to the project that has provided insight into an area of key importance to the Irish Online Community. These areas include topics such as search engines, on-line privacy issues, social media or on-line education.

Category - All

Age Group - All

EMC Data Hero Award


At EMC, we know the Power of Data because it’s at the heart of everything we do.

We know that data will grow exponentially in the future and the ability to capture, manage and process this data in a timely, cost efficient manor will be critical to every successful decision, business or endeavor. Better, faster data collection and analysis will help in many ways, from predicting earthquakes or forecasting extreme weather conditions, to making leaps in medical and scientific research. EMC’s Young Data Hero Award will recognize the group or individual who best illustrates fresh thinking or originality in the collection, use or display of data in a project.

EMC established a presence in Ireland in 1988 with its first manufacturing facility outside of North America in Ovens, Cork, followed by sales offices in Dublin (1990) and Belfast (2005). The Cork facility comprises of 28 business functions and in 2010 became an EMC Centre of Excellence (COE) incorporating research and training. It is the largest manufacturing site of EMC outside of the US and EMC now employs over 2,500 people in Ireland between all EMC sites, including VMware, RSA, and Mozy.

Criteria - An award for excellence in the clever use of data within a project, illustrating a novel or innovative approach to the collection, analysis and/or use of data.

Category - All

Age Group - All

MATRIX sponsorship of a BT Young Scientist Award

Award - best Northern Ireland School overall

This new award will be presented to the school from Northern Ireland that is deemed the best from all the Northern Ireland entrants across all categories and all age groups. MATRIX: the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel is a business led panel formed to advise government and provide industry leadership on the commercial exploitation of science, technology and innovation in Northern Ireland.

MATRIX is key to the development of Northern Ireland’s future knowledge-based economy. It is collaborating with BT Young Scientist to promote the benefits of investing in STEM activities for young people to help increase STEM awareness in the general public and promote the innovators of tomorrow. MATRIX particularly welcomes the opportunity to encourage more young people to consider careers founded in STEM.

Criteria - This year MATRIX are sponsoring an award for the best Northern Ireland school overall - this is calculated on a points system based on the numbers and types of awards an individual school wins.

Category - All

Age Group - All


Bell Labs special award Scientists at Bell Labs are transforming the way in which we connect to one another and with the information around us. Since 1925, its scientists have been leaders in the fields of Information Technologies and Communications pioneering technologies such as the transistor, laser, UNIX, digital imaging, the concept for cellular networks, and optical networking technologies at the heart of todays information society. Bell Labs scientists have been recognized by many of the world’s most prestigious technology societies for their contributions, and have been awarded with 7 Nobel Prizes in Physics for their insights ranging from the nature of subatomic particles to the beginning of our universe. Bell Labs is the research organization within Alcatel-Lucent.

Criteria - Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs Ireland will present an award for the best ICT project that addresses eco-sustainability. Projects can be about the sustainability of ICT itself. A broader definition would be ICT projects that also enable/support sustainability in other areas, e.g. use of ICT for managing vehicular transport or heating systems etc.

Category - All

Age Group - All

Geological Survery of Ireland Special Award

The GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF IRELAND (GSI), founded in 1845, is the National Earth Science Agency. It is responsible for providing geological advice andinformation, and for the acquisition of data for this purpose. GSI produces a range of products including maps, reports and databases and acts as a knowledge centre and project partner in all aspects of Irish geology. It is a division of the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) and has about 40 multi-disciplinary staff.

Criteria - The award should be made to the project that best demonstrates the use of new geological data. Collecting and interpreting geological data should form the substantive part of the project, which can have a geographical or a technological context. The candidate would be expected to reference geological maps and texts to support their arguments. The candidate should demonstrate some of the following: Understanding of the geological basis of landscape; Understanding of geological processes; A holistic view of the environment, particularly in the context of heritage and/or resource issues.

For geological data check

Category - All

Age Group - All

The Psychological Society of Ireland

The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is the learned and professional body for Psychology in the Republic of Ireland. Since its birth in 1970 the Society has grown from a mere 17 members to more than 2,500+.

The PSI was established during a time when Psychology as a subject and a profession was in its infancy in Ireland. Since its creation the members of the PSI have helped shape and develop psychology as a science in Ireland and through their work and commitment have given Irish psychology a voice and standing on not only the European but also the world stage. The membership includes practitioners, educators and researchers, professionals and postgraduate students, as well as undergraduate student subscribers.

The PSI is committed to maintaining the high standards of practice in Psychology that have been set by its members over the last 40 years and also to exploring new and innovative ways of furthering psychology as a real and applied science.

When the Psychological Society of Ireland was established its primary objective was the advancement of psychology as a pure and applied science in Ireland and elsewhere.

The PSI has helped cultivate a high standard of psychology in Ireland which is visible in both academic and professional settings. These high standards provide psychologists who study and work in Ireland with the qualifications and experience that is needed to gain membership with the PSI and recognition across Europe through the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA).

The PSI liaises with all third level institutions offering psychological training in Ireland, developing and setting criteria against which training can be evaluated, and operating systems for the accreditation for professional training programmes. For those working in psychology, it provides professional registration for practitioners in all areas and supports Continuing Professional Development (CPD), through the accreditation of events and the provision of opportunities for CPD. In an effort to further ensure high standards in all areas of psychology in Ireland the PSI oversaw the establishment of Divisions and Special Interest Groups (SIG), membership of which is based on the applicants experience and qualifications. Each Division or SIG deals with a specific area and provides lectures, resources, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events and a voice for psychologists not only within the PSI but within Ireland and beyond.

In addition to promoting a high standard of training and education for psychologists in Ireland the PSI provides its members with professional development and networking opportunities. PSI members receive the ‘Irish Journal of Psychology’, a peer-reviewed PSI publication that allows articles and research conducted by Irish psychologists to be read on an international level. Members are also kept up to date on matters pertinent to Irish psychology on a monthly basis through the PSI’s magazine ‘The Irish Psychologist’. The PSI are involved in the organizing and running of annual scientific and professional conferences, lectures and educational events along with supporting the Annual Student Conference in conjunction with the Northern Irish branch of the British Psychological Society.

The PSI regularly acts to ensure the continued contribution of psychology to Irish society. It makes submissions to government on issues relevant to the discipline, and the Society is the national advisory body on psychology to the Department of Health and Children. 

Since its inception the PSI has had and continues to have, many dealings with various government agencies with the aim of protecting, promoting and furthering the profession of psychology in Ireland. By having attained membership of both the European Federation of Psychology Associations and the International Union of Psychological Societies, the PSI is ensuring that Irish psychology is well represented not only in the European, but worldwide.

Criteria - The PSI prize will be awarded for the project with the best Social & Behavioural Science content

Category - Psychology, Behavioural Science, Sociology etc.

Age Group - All

Awards - Best Project (Female, Male or Group)

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland was established in 1783 and is the longest established financial institution in the country. Bank of Ireland is a diversified financial services group offering a comprehensive range of services and products and is regarded as the first pillar of Irish banking. We offer comprehensive branch and self-service options for our customers including ATM's and mobile, telephone and online banking services. A key priority for Bank of Ireland is to help make banking easier for our customers. We are broadening and enhancing the range of distribution channels available to our customers and we are committed to developing new and innovative products that will meet the evolving and changing needs of our customers.

Criteria - The Bank of Ireland Special Entrepreneurial Award will be presented to the student or group of students that demonstrate exceptional performance and achievement through the development of a concept with entrepreneurial potential. The successful student/students will need to describe how they utilised their entrepreneurial talent to develop their idea.

Category - All

Age Group - All


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