EPO announces European Inventor Award winners

All European Inventor Award winners on stage

The European Patent Office (EPO) revealed the winners of the European Inventor Award 2024 during a lively ceremony streamed from Malta. An independent jury selected the winners for their contributions that span sectors such as automotive manufacturing, computer vision, magnet technology and renewable energy. In addition to celebrating world-class inventions and their fascinating creators, the EPO announced an exciting new twist in the Young Inventors Prize and opened the nomination drive. 

Meet the winners 

European Inventor Award 

  • Industry: Fiorenzo Dioni and Richard Oberle, for revolutionising the automotive industry with their high-precision aluminium casting methods.  
  • Research: Cordelia Schmid, for her contributions to computer science, enabling enhanced machine learning applications that extend into everyday technologies.  
  • Non-EPO Countries: Masato Sagawa, recognised for creating the strongest permanent magnets, which are crucial in various high-tech applications.  
  • SMEs: Olga Malinkiewicz and her team, for advancing solar energy technology with their cost-effective and environmentally friendly perovskite solar cells.  
  • Lifetime Achievement: Dame Carol Vivien Robinson, whose work in mass spectrometry has significantly advanced biochemical research and medical diagnostics.  

Young Inventors Prize  

  • First place: Rochelle Niemeijer, a 29-year-old Dutch scientist, won first place for her portable AI-driven chemistry kit that quickly identifies bacteria causing infections like urinary tract infections. This invention allows for faster and more accurate medical treatment decisions.  
  • Second place: Valentyn Frechka, a 23-year-old Ukrainian inventor, ranked second for developing a method to turn fallen leaves into sustainably made paper, significantly reducing the need for tree harvesting in paper production.  
  • Third place: The young Tunisian team of Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime and Sirine Ayari were awarded third place for their innovative smart wheelchair control system, which enhances mobility and autonomy for individuals with physical disabilities.  

Popular Prize  

  • Chosen by the public, this year’s winner is Olga Malinkiewicz and her team, who are also the winners of the SMEs category for their pioneering work in printing perovskite solar cells.  

New direction for the Young Inventors Prize 

Starting next year, the Young Inventors Prize will have its own ceremony held separately from the European Inventor Award. The EPO will host the Prize and the Award on an alternating basis, starting with the Young Inventors Prize in Iceland in 2025. This means the next European Inventor Award will take place in 2026. 

While the format may be new, the Young Inventors Prize will keep its original mission: supporting rising stars and inspiring younger generations to dive into the world of inventing. If you know a genius 30-or-under who tackles one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, nominate them for the Prize in 2025. Remember, granted European patents are not a prerequisite, there are no geographical restrictions and you can nominate as many young inventors as you like. Submit proposals via our nomination platform by the end of the day on 27 September.