José Luis López Gómez (Spain)
Independent wheel guidance for high speed trains
António Velez Marques, Helena Pereira, Rui Reis, Susana Silva (Portugal)
Expanding cork with microwaves
Claus Hämmerle and Klaus Brüstle
Blumotion, a damper system that facilitates the smooth closing of furniture doors, drawers and wall cabinets.
Julius Blum GmbH
This damper system for cabinet hinges is completely silent and virtually invisible but has achieved resounding economic success nonetheless.
Manufactured by Austrian kitchen hardware manufacturer Blum, Blumotion works a little like a car's suspension system: It is outfitted with a piston moving inside a pressure tube filled with a hydraulic liquid in order to allow doors, lift systems or drawer runners to be shut gently. Blumotion has conquered international markets and is helping home owners around the world to put an end to the loud slamming of cabinet doors.
Today's kitchens are sleek, stylish and minimalist. The Blumotion damper system embodies these traits with the added bonus of being almost completely silent. Its acceptance by consumers reflects an evolving interior design market, one that is more focused on simplicity and comfort without sacrificing function. Today, Blumotion can be incorporated into virtually any kind of furniture imaginable.
Since Blumotion's release, Blum's earnings skyrocketed to about €1.3 billion per year, providing job security for some 5,500 employees - 4,000 of them in Vorarlberg, Austria, where the company is the region's largest employer. Blum is also a driver of innovation, reinvesting 4% of its profits into research and development. What's more, it is one of the most active patent filers in Austria, with 1,000 patents in its portfolio, 10 of which concern Blumotion. Blum exports to more than 100 countries worldwide.