European Inventor of the Year


European Inventor of the Year

The European Inventor of the Year awards are presented annually by the European Patent Office and the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry to inventors who have made a significant contribution to innovation in Europe. The winners in each category are presented with an award shaped like a sail. There is no cash prize associated with the awards.

Award categories

The European Inventor of the Year awards are presented in the following categories:
* Industry
* SMEs/research
* Non-European inventors
* Lifetime achievement

Nomination and selection

Each year the European Patent Office calls on its patent examiners and examiners at the patent offices in the EPO's member states to propose inventions for the award that were patented at the European Patent Office over a given ten-year period and have since made a significant contribution towards innovation in Europe. The public has also been invited to submit proposals for the 2009 award.

A shortlist of nominees is then drawn up from the examiners' proposals and submitted to an international jury. The jury selects three inventors in each category for the final round, and eventually chooses the winners.

European Inventor of the Year 2009

The European Inventor of the Year 2009 gala will take place in Prague, Czech Republic.

European Inventor of the Year 2008

The third European Inventor of the Year awards took place in Ljubljana on 6 May 2008, marking Slovenia's presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2008. Prizes were presented to inventors - individuals and teams - in four categories.

The 2008 winners were:

* Audi's Norbert Enning, Ulrich Klages, Heinrich Timm, Gundolf Kreis, Alois Feldschmid, Christian Dornberg and Karl Reiter (Germany) for revolutionising automotive manufacturing by making car frames lighter and safer through the use of aluminium. (category: Industry) [ [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/epf2008/inventor/nominees/industry/enning.html European Inventor of the Year 2008 in the category "Industry"] ]
* Douglas Anderson, Robert Henderson and Roger Lucas of Scotland's SME Optos (United Kingdom) for developing a new laser scanning technology for the eye which allows powerful but pain-free examination of the retina(category: SMEs and research) [ [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/epf2008/inventor/nominees/sme/anderson.html European Inventor of the Year 2008 in the category "SMEs and research"] ]
* SRI International's Philip S. Green (United States) for developing a robotic surgical system that has helped to improve surgery in Europe by allowing surgeons to perform complex procedures with the highest precision.(category: non European Inventors) [ [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/epf2008/inventor/nominees/non-european/green.html European Inventor of the Year 2008 in the category "non European Inventors"] ]
* Erik De Clercq of the University of Leuven (Belgium) for landmark contributions to antiviral treatment, including the development of the drug cocktail for AIDS which has become the gold standard of our day. (category: lifetime achievement) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2007/laermer.html European Inventor of the Year 2008 in the category "lifetime achievement"] ]

European Inventor of the Year 2007

The second European Inventor of the Year awards took place at the International Congress Center in Munich, Germany on 18 April 2007. Prizes were presented to inventors - individuals and teams - in four categories.

The 2007 winners were:

* Dr Franz Lärmer and Andrea Urban, of Bosch GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany, for their Bosch Process (category: industry) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2007/laermer.html European Inventor of the Year 2007 in the category "Industry"] ]
* Catia Bastioli and her team at Novamont S.p.a in Novara, Italy, for inventing biodegradable plastics made from starch (category: SMEs/research) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2007/bastioli.html European Inventor of the Year 2007 in the category "SMEs/research"] ]
* Dr Joseph P. Vacca and the team at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, USA, for Crixivan, a protease inhibitor (category: non-European inventors) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2007/vacca.html European Inventor of the Year 2007 in the category "Non-European inventors"] ]
* Professor Marc Feldmann from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, England, for identifying the role of cytokines in the treatment of autoimmune disorders (category: lifetime achievement) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2007/feldmann.html European Inventor of the Year 2007 in the category "Lifetime achievement"] ]

European Inventor of the Year 2006

The first European Inventor of the Year awards took place at the AutoWorld Museum in Brussels on 3 May 2006. Prizes were presented in six categories.

The 2006 winners were:

* Zbigniew Janowicz and Cornelis Hollenberg, who invented a method for making proteins in Hansenula yeast (category: industry) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Janowicz-Hollenberg.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "Industry"] ]
* Stephen P.A. Fodor, Michael C. Pirrung, J. Leighton Read and Lubert Stryer for their invention of the DNA chip (category: small and medium-sized enterprises) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Fodor.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "Small and medium-sized enterprises"] ]
* Peter Grünberg for his discovery of the giant-magnetoresistance effect, or GMR (category: universities and research institutes) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Gruenberg.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "Universities and research institutes"] ]
* John Starrett, Joanne Bronson, John Martin, Muzammil Mansuri and David Tortolani, for their prodrugs of phosphonates (category: new EU member states) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Starrett.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "New EU member states"] ]
* Larry Gold and Craig Tuerk, who found out that nucleic acids can bind a protein to potentially intercept other proteins that cause diseases like AMD (category: non-European countries) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Gold.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "Non-European countries"] ]
* Federico Faggin, for inventing the microprocessor (category: lifetime achievement) [ [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors/archive/2006/Faggin.html European Inventor of the Year 2006 in the category "Lifetime achievement"] ]

Jury

In 2007, the jury was made up of:

* Nani Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of GE International in Brussels, Belgium
* Franjo Bobinac, President of the Management Board and CEO of Gorenje gospondinjski aparati in Velenje, Slovenia
* Kastitis Gecas, Director of the Lithuanian Innovation Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania
* N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor at Infosys Technologies Limited in Bangalore, India
* Ruud Peters, Executive Vice President and CEO of Philips International in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
* Edoardo Tusacciu, President of PlastWood s.r.l in Calangianus, Italy
* Eugene van As, Chairman at Sappi Limited in Johannesburg, South Africa
* Carmen Vela Olmo, Managing Director of INGENASA in Madrid, Spain
* Professor Wang Zhibiao, President of the Chongqing Haifu Technology Co., Ltd in Chongqing, China

For the 2006 awards, the jury comprised:

* Wim Kok, former Prime Minister, the Netherlands (chairman)
* Gilles Capart, Chairman of PROTON Europe, Belgium
* Dimitri F. Dimitriou, CEO of DyoDelta Biosciences, United Kingdom
* Leif Edvinsson, Director of Intellectual Capital at Skandia, Sweden
* Robert Peugot, Executive Vice President at PSA Peugeot-Citroën, France
* Maive Rute, SME Envoy for the European Commission, Estonia

References

External links

* [http://www.epo.org/focus/innovation-and-economy/inventors.html European Inventors of the Year homepage]
* [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/archive/2006/inventor2006.html European Inventor of the Year 2006] on the EPO website
* [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/archive/2007/patent-forum/inventor2007.html European Inventor of the Year 2007] on the EPO website
* [http://www.epo.org/about-us/events/epf2008.html European Inventor of the Year 2008] on the EPO website


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