European Patent Office
European Patent Office
Bernd Münchinger
Phone: +49 711 99014 85
  • European Inventor Award
  • Popular Prize
  • European Patent Office
Mon, 02.05.2016
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Your voice counts: voting is open for the Popular Prize of the European Inventor Award 2016

Munich (pts029/02.05.2016/11:00) - When the European Patent Office (EPO) presents the European Inventor Award 2016 on 9 June in Lisbon, one of the 15 finalists will also be crowned winner of the Popular Prize. While the awards in the five categories "Industry", "Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)", "Research", "Non-European countries" and "Lifetime achievement" are decided by an international jury, the public alone decides which inventor takes home the Popular Prize. Every vote counts and it is easy to take part: An online poll open to everyone runs until 31 May on the and All 15 finalists and their inventions are presented on the EPO website so the public can pick their favourite. Voters will be entered into a draw, giving them the chance to win a prize. One vote is possible every 24 hours until the closing date.

15 inventors compete for the Popular Prize

Vying to be the public's pick in the Industry category are Italian food scientists Virna Cerne and Ombretta Polenghi for inventing a gluten substitute from corn, the German team of Bernhard Gleich and Jürgen Weizenecker for Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI), and the Belgian-French team of Joan Daemen and Pierre-Yvan Liardet for their contribution to the development of secure smartcard encryption.

In the SMEs category, the three finalists in the running are: Danes Tue Johannessen, Ulrich Quaade, Claus Hviid Christensen and Jens Kehlet Nørskov for a novel method for reducing smog from diesel vehicles, French researcher Helen Lee for developing a diagnostic kit for developing countries, as well as Lithuanian scientist Arminas Ragauskas for inventing a safer way of measuring brain pressure by means of ultrasound.

In the category Research, contenders for the Popular Prize are: Frenchman Alim-Louis Benabid, for his invention of a new method for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, Portuguese couple Elvira Fortunato and Rodrigo Martins for developing paper transistors, and Czech engineer Miroslav Sedlácek for a fluid turbine that harnesses the energy of slower-moving water to generate electricity.

In Lifetime achievement, the following inventors have a chance of winning the Popular Prize: French cardiologist Alain Carpentier for his implantable artificial heart, the Swede Tore Curstedt, inventor of an effective drug to treat respiratory distress syndrome in premature babies, as well as Dutch-German automotive engineer Anton van Zanten, who developed electronic stability control (ESC) for cars.

In the Non-European countries category the candidates are: Hugh Herr from the United States for his bionic leg prostheses, Robert Langer, also from the US, for the invention of anti-cancer drugs that are encapsulated in biodegradable plastics, and the Indian-born Stanford University professor Arogyaswami Paulraj, who together with his team developed faster wireless connectivity, which makes it possible to send large amounts of data over frequencies with limited bandwidth.

More information about the Popular Prize is available at:

About the European Inventor Award
The European Inventor Award is one of Europe's most prestigious innovation prizes. This year marks the 11th edition of the annual award. Launched by the EPO in 2006, it honours individual inventors and teams of inventors whose pioneering inventions provide 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 2016 award ceremony will take place on 9 June in Lisbon. The general public is also invited to take part in conferring the award: the winner of the Popular Prize is chosen from among the 15 finalists by online voting on the EPO website in the run-up to the ceremony. Voting is open until 31 May 2016.

About the EPO
With more than 7 000 staff, 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 centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

Media resources
Additional information, photos and videos about the European Inventor Award 2016 can be found in the EPO Media Centre. Smart TV users can watch the ceremony on 9 June 2016 live on Innovation TV.

Contacts at the EPO in Munich, Germany:
Jana Mittermaier
Director External Communication

Rainer Osterwalder
Press Spokesperson
European Patent Office
Tel. +49 (0)89 2399 1820
Mobile: +49 (0)163 8399527

Submitter: European Patent Office
Contact: Bernd Münchinger
Phone: +49 711 99014 85
European Patent Office