They have found innovative ways to tackle health issues, reduce pollution, boost alternative energies and equip us with technology for the digital age. The 15 finalists for the European Inventor Award 2018, announced today by the EPO, have all made significant contributions to advancing technology, generating economic value and creating employment in Europe and throughout the world. With its prestigious annual award, the EPO honours outstanding scientists, researchers and engineers in five categories: Industry, Research, Non-EPO countries, SMEs and Lifetime achievement.
The Award winners will be announced on 7 June in Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, at a ceremony attended by representatives from the worlds of politics, business, industry, research and intellectual property. The public will select the winner of the Popular Prize by online voting on the EPO’s website in the run-up to the ceremony.
“The 2018 Award finalists demonstrate that Europe continues to be a world leader in innovation,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “The creativity and ingenuity of these women and men helps to improve our daily lives and boosts the competitiveness of the economy. They open up new opportunities, enrich our lives and propose solutions to some of the most pressing issues we face. By supporting the work of these inventors, the European patent system remains a pillar for strengthening Europe’s position as one of the world’s most innovative markets.”
The 15 finalists were selected by an independent, international jury from a pool of more than 500 individuals and teams of inventors, a new record number, proposed by the public, by patent examiners of national patent offices and the EPO. This year, the finalists – six of whom are women inventors – come from 13 countries: Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
Their inventions cover a wide range of technological fields including biotechnology, microchip lithography, automotive, toys and games, medical imaging and technology, renewable energy, material sciences, lasers and electronics.
The 2018 finalists in the five categories are:
- Erik Loopstra (Netherlands) and Vadim Banine (Netherlands/Russia): EUV lithography for smaller, more powerful microchips
- Gaute Munch, Erik Hansen and team (Denmark): LEGO programmable robots
- Agnès Poulbot and Jacques Barraud† (France): Auto-regenerating tyre tread
- Jens Frahm (Germany): Faster, real-time MRI
- Eileen Ingham and John Fisher CBE (United Kingdom): Donor tissue without rejection
- Jacek Jemielity, Joanna Kowalska, Edward Dar?ynkiewicz and team (Poland): Stabilising messenger RNA
- Stephen Dewar (Canada), Philip Watts (United States/Canada) and Frank Fish (United States): Turbines and fans inspired by whales
- Alex Kipman (Brazil): HoloLens: mixed reality smart glasses
- Esther Sans Takeuchi (United States): Batteries to reset the heart
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Mehrdad Mahdjoubi (Sweden): Closed-loop shower
- Jane ní Dhulchaointigh and team (Ireland): Sugru: multi-purpose mouldable glue
- Thomas Scheibel (Germany): Artificial spider silk
- Ursula Keller (Switzerland): Ultrafast pulsed lasers
- Jacques Lewiner (France): Smoke alarm, internet connections, secure key cards and many more
- Henrik Stiesdal (Denmark): Offshore wind farms
Source: European Patent Office