European Inventor Award

Your favourite inventor hasn’t been honoured yet?

Nominate your favorite inventor


European Patent Office

Directorate External Communication
Tel: +49 (0)89 2399 1830

Fax: +49 (0)89 2399 1835



Nominations for the European Inventor Award 2018 are now open. The Award recognises outstanding inventors from around the world, from all technical fields and backgrounds. You don’t have to be an inventor yourself to put forward a nominee. People from industry, research institutes, IP associations and universities, as well as the general public, are all welcome to make a suggestion. So why not go ahead and nominate your favourite inventor? You can even nominate yourself if you want!

Deadline for submissions: 16 October 2017

European Inventor Award 2017 trophies

The categories

  • Industry: for outstanding and successful technologies patented by large European companies
  • Research: for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes
  • Non-EPO countries: for outstanding inventors from outside the EPO’s 38 member states who have been granted a European patent.
  • SMEs: for exceptional inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

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