Honouring the Bright Minds behind Ground-breaking Inventions: European Inventor Award 2017 Finalists Announced

Source: EPO


The nominated inventors fight disease, take on some of the most pressing environmental issues and enrich our daily lives. The fifteen finalists for the European Inventor Award 2017, announced today by the European Patent Office (EPO), have strongly contributed to advancing technology and generating economic value and employment in Europe and beyond. With this prestigious annual award, the EPO honours scientists, researchers and engineers in five categories. The inventions, patented at the EPO, have contributed to social development and economic growth.

The 12th edition of the award will be held at the Arsenale in Venice on 15 June. Winners in each category will be announced at the award ceremony attended by high-level representatives of politics, business, research and intellectual property. Once again, 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.

"This year's finalists demonstrate that Europe continues to be a world leader in innovation. The outstanding inventors nominated for the European Inventor Award allow us to honour the men and women whose  ingenious work  contributes to the competitiveness of the European economy and improves our daily lives," said EPO President Beno?t Battistelli. "The European patent system remains a pillar for securing Europe's position as a global marketplace for innovation."

The fifteen finalists were selected by an independent, international jury from a pool of nearly 400 individuals and teams of inventors proposed by the public and by patent examiners of the national patent offices and the EPO for this year's award. The 2017 finalists come from twelve countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Their inventions cover a range of technological fields including immunology, environmentally friendly materials, biotechnology, polymers, pharmaceuticals, satellite navigation, natural antimicrobials, mechanics, digital audio compression, high-resolution imagery, industrial fabrication and medical technology.

The 2017 finalists in the five categories are:


Lars Liljeryd (Sweden): Digital audio compression

Giuseppe Remuzzi, Ariela Benigni, Carlamaria Zoja (Italy): Treatments for chronic kidney disease

Jan van den Boogaart and Oliver Hayden (Netherlands/Austria): Rapid blood test for malaria


Hans Clevers (Netherlands): Lab-grown human organs (organoids)

Laurent Lestarquit, Jos¨¦ ?ngel ?vila Rodr¨ªguez and team (France, Spain, Germany and Belgium): Radio signals for better satellite navigation

Sylviane Muller (France): Treating lupus by targeting T-cells

Non-EPO countries

James G. Fujimoto, Eric A. Swanson and Robert Huber (USA/Germany): High resolution medical imaging (OCT)

Waleed Hassanein (USA): Sustaining transplant organs

Adnane Remmal (Morocco): Boosting antibiotics with essential oils

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Gert-Jan Gruter (Netherlands): Plant-based plastic bottles

G¨¹nter Hufschmid (Germany): Super-sponge for oil spills

Steve Lindsey (United Kingdom): Energy-saving rotary air compressor

Lifetime achievement

Elmar Mock (Switzerland): Swatch, ultrasound welding and more

Rino Rappuoli (Italy): Novel vaccines by gene analysis

Axel Ullrich (Germany): Stopping cancer at the root