Boat designer Juan Kouyoumdjian is the recipient of the Ericsson Trophy, recognizing the importance of technology and design in the world of sport.
Traoloch Collins, Business Director of Ericsson Ireland, hands over the Ericsson Trophy to Juan Kouyoumdjian in Galway, Ireland

Kouyoumdjian designed the boat for Groupama, which just became the overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. Ericsson did not sponsor a competitor in the latest race, but did supply wireless communication technology at stopovers. One of Ericsson’s two entries won the previous round-the-world contest in 2008-2009.

The trophy for the most technically advanced and capable yacht design was handed over at the final prize ceremony in Galway, Ireland.

Helena Norrman, Head of Communications at Ericsson, says: "Ericsson has aimed to be at the forefront of innovation across the globe since we were founded in 1876. Creating a winning design for the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the most prominent proof points of technology leadership in the world of sport, so it makes sense to recognize innovation in a global challenge like this one."

This is the third time a creation by Kouyoumdjian has won the Volvo Ocean Race. He says technology is key to staying at the forefront of his field: "It is essential to surround myself with a team of brilliant people that allows creativity to be freely expressed via the latest applicable technology," Kouyoumdjian says. "Technology is always at the service of creativity, not the other way around."

Specifically, at Juan Yacht Design in Valencia, Spain (the company Kouyoumdjian founded), the team communicates between their home base in Spain and Argentina, Sweden, the US, or anywhere experts happen to be during the build. "Numerical files describe the 3D shapes and 2D characteristics of how such shapes should be built in terms of materials, tolerances and so on. We use real-time voice and video to communicate this information, most often through the internet," says Kouyoumdjian.

"Receiving a prize from a company like Ericsson is meaningful because the company is so technologically advanced and innovative. I am honored."

During the Volvo Ocean Race, Ericsson provided the MINI-LINK PT microwave solution and service at 10 stopovers between Spain to Ireland. MINI-LINK PT is a compact, high-capacity microwave solution with zero footprint and easy installation.