European Inventor Award

Nominations

The nomination period for the European Inventor Award 2017 closed on 12 October 2016. Thank you for submitting your nominations for the 2017 Award! We will be announcing the finalists in April 2017. 

The categories

  • Industry: for outstanding and successful technologies patented by large European companies
  • Research: for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes
  • SMEs: for exceptional inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Non-European countries: for all inventors who are not European nationals but have been granted a European patent
  • Lifetime achievement: honouring the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor

Determining the winners

Any member of the public can nominate an inventor for the European Inventor Award. The selection process relies on the hard work of EPO experts and an independent international jury that evaluates innovations not only on their technological originality but also on their economic and social impact.

  • Call for submissions

    1. CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
    Proposals are invited from the general public, national patent offices and EPO staff. Proposals from any technical field are eligible. The open call for proposals runs from April until October each year.

  • Evaluation of proposals

    2. EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS
    EPO staff rigorously evaluates the proposals to ensure they fulfil all legal requirements and represent significant inventions. A shortlist of 40-50 candidates is submitted to an independent jury, including detailed reports on the technical, societal and economic merits of the inventions and biographical information on each candidate.

  • Jury decision

    3. JURY DECISION
    At the jury meeting, each juror carefully reviews the shortlisted candidates and allocates points for their first, second and third choices in the five categories. After two rounds of voting and elimination, three finalists (including one winner) remain in each category.

  • Finalists announcement

    4. FINALISTS ANNOUNCEMENT
    The EPO officially announces the names of the fifteen finalists to the public in April. The opening of the public voting in the Popular Prize category is also announced.

  • Popular Prize voting

    5. POPULAR PRIZE VOTING
    The general public is invited to vote for their favourite inventor. An additional prize is awarded to the European Inventor Award finalist who receives the most votes on the EPO website and social media in the run-up to ceremony.

  • Winners announcement

    6. WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT
    The winners in the five categories and the Popular Prize are announced at the Award ceremony in June.

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