The UNIGIS International Association (UIA) would like to announce the first winners of its Academic Excellence Prize. The Prize, initiated in 2008, is presented to the student, or students, who submits the best MSc thesis (or paper) during the academic year. This year the competition was very tight with six excellent high quality MSc theses being considered by the UIA Review Board. In the end the panel decided to make three awards. The winner of the Academic Excellence Prize for 2008 is Andre Colman (UNIGIS – Free University of Amsterdam), in second place is Tobias Fleischmann (UNIGIS – Salzburg) and in third place is Christopher Needham (UNIGIS UK). The Review Board would like to commend these individuals, and the three other students whose theses were consider, for the exceptional high quality of their work. The competition for the 2009 Prize is now open.