The European Patent Office (EPO) Holds Public Voting for the 2018 European Inventor Award Popular Prize

Share Article

North American inventors nominated for their advances in clean energy generation, augmented reality technology, and the management of heart disease

News Image
An online vote open to everyone runs until June 3rd at

The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that voting is now open for its 2018 European Inventor Award Popular Prize. Members of the public are invited to cast their vote for their favorite inventor from among the 15 finalists of whom four are based in the U.S. The winner will be announced when the EPO presents this year’s award at a ceremony in Paris on June 7th. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Innovation TV as well as on the EPO's Facebook page.

The European Inventor Award is presented annually by the EPO. While the winners of the award’s five categories, Industry, Research, Non-EPO countries, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and Lifetime achievement, are selected by an international jury, the public alone decides who takes home the Popular Prize.

An online vote open to everyone runs until June 3rd at All 15 finalists and their inventions are presented on the EPO website, so the public can pick their favorite. All participating voters will be entered into a drawing to win one of 25 I Lock IT smart bicycle locks operated via low-energy Bluetooth technology. One vote can be cast every 24-hours until the closing date.

This year’s finalists come from 13 countries: Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the United States. They include six women inventors -- four of whom are lead inventors -- making this year the strongest for women inventors since the European Inventor Award was launched in 2006.

In the Non-EPO countries category, which includes the U.S. and Canada, the finalists vying for the public’s vote have made tremendous advances in clean energy generation, augmented reality technology, and the management of heart disease. Stephen Dewar (Canada), Philip Watts (U.S./Canada) and Frank Fish (U.S.) patented efficient wind turbine blades inspired by the fins of whales. U.S.-based inventor and Microsoft® software engineer Alex Kipman developed “mixed-reality” data glasses known as the Microsoft HoloLens®. And U.S. chemical engineer and inventor Esther Sans Takeuchi perfected long-lasting, compact batteries to power tiny, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs).

In the Industry category, finalists cover such diverse areas as semiconductors, building toys, and transportation. Dutch engineer Erik Loopstra and Dutch-Russian physicist Vadim Banine and team invented a next-generation microchip manufacturing technology. A Danish team, including Gaute Munch and Erik Hansen, created programmable LEGO® robot construction kits. And French experts Agnès Poulbot and Jacques Barraud developed self-regenerating tires for heavy vehicles.

In the category Research, contenders have made an impact on medical diagnostics, restorative medicine, and biochemistry. German biophysicist Jens Frahm has made pioneering contributions that brought magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) into clinical practice. The British husband-and-wife research team of Eileen Ingham and John Fisher CBE invented "biological scaffolds" that have improved patient outcomes in regenerative medicine. And a Polish team including Jacek Jemielity, Joanna Kowalska, and Edward Darżynkiewicz created stable messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) compounds, opening up new approaches for cancer treatments.

In the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) category, the candidates have pioneered water-conserving showers, multi-purpose adhesives, and next-generation synthetic fibres. Swedish industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi invented a resource-conserving closed-loop shower originally developed for NASA's space programme. Irish product designer Jane ní Dhulchaointigh and her team formulated multi-purpose glue that can repair and customise everyday objects. And German biochemist Thomas Scheibel developed a new fiber based on ultra-strong, artificial spider silk.

And finally, in the Lifetime achievement category, the finalists include Swiss physicist Ursula Keller, who has developed the leading technology behind ultra-fast lasers in numerous industrial and medical applications; prolific French inventor and entrepreneur Jacques Lewiner, who has hundreds of inventions to his name including smoke alarms, medical sensors, and internet connections; and Danish wind power pioneer Henrik Stiesdal, who has built a legacy of contributions to wind turbine blade design and green energy.

More information about the Popular Prize is available at:

The European Inventor Award is one of Europe's most prestigious innovation prizes. Launched by the EPO in 2006, it honors individual inventors and teams of inventors whose pioneering work provides answers to some of the biggest challenges of our times. The winners are selected by an independent jury consisting of international authorities in the fields of business, politics, science, academia and research, who examine the proposals in terms of their contribution towards technical progress, social development, economic prosperity and job creation in Europe. The general public decides on the winner of the Popular Prize. The 2018 award ceremony will take place on 7 June 2018 in Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

With a staff of approximately 7,000, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralized patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

Additional information, photos and videos about the European Inventor Award 2018 can be found in the EPO Media Centre. Smart TV users can download our "Innovation TV" app and watch videos about all finalists on their TV screen.

Twitter | EPO Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Peter Gorman
Shepard Fox Communications
+1 617-669-4329
Email >

Rainer Osterwalder