European Inventor Award

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Jury members

Jury meeting 2019The independent jury that judges proposals for the European Inventor Award consists of leading experts in the fields of intellectual property, business, science, politics, media and research. In 2019, the jury is chaired by Ulrike Rabmer-Koller.


Ulrike Rabmer-Koller (Chair)

is President of SMEunited, the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe, representing the interests of more than 12 million enterprises across Europe, and a member of the European Commission’s High Level Group ‘Industry 2030’. Ms Rabmer-Koller has been involved in representing the interests of Austrian businesses at the national level since 2003 and is now Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ). In her professional career, she has held various managerial positions. Since 2002 she has served as General Manager of Rabmer Group, a construction and environmental technology company.

Eleni Antoniadou

is a multidisciplinary researcher in regenerative medicine and bioastronautics. Her focus is on the development of artificial organs based on stem cells, as an alternative therapeutic technique to transplant surgery. She is co-founder of the start-up initiative “Transplants Without Donors” and works to raise awareness about organ trafficking. Dr Antoniadou has received several awards, including the NASA-ESA Award in 2012, the UK's Young Business Woman of the Year award in 2015 and the Giuseppe Sciacca International Award for Science and Research in 2016.

Benoît Battistelli

is the President of the Administrative Board of the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI). Mr Battistelli started his career as a civil servant in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance and later became director with responsibility for innovation, competitiveness and industrial property policy at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry before being appointed Director General of the French National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) in 2004. Mr Battistelli was previously the President of the European Patent Office (2010-2018).

Wolfgang Heckl

is Director General of the Deutsches Museum in Munich and holds the Oskar von Miller chair for science communication as a professor of experimental physics and nanotechnology at the Technical University in Munich. He received the Communicator Prize from the German Science Foundation and was awarded the European Descartes Prize for Science Communication. Professor Heckl is spokesman of nanotechnology at the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech and chairman of the board of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Light. He is the author of more than 200 peer review publications, and published a bestselling book entitled "Die Kultur der Reparatur" in 2013.

Roger Highfield

is the Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group, a collection of British museums devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. He has twenty years’ experience as science editor of the Daily Telegraph and was editor of the New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. Dr Highfield has won or been shortlisted for many awards, including the British Press Awards. He has written or co-authored seven popular science books, and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines. Dr Highfield is also a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and University College London, and a member of the Medical Research Council in the UK.

Ursula Keller

is one of the world's leading scientists in the field of ultra-fast photonics. She has been a professor at ETH Zurich in the Ultrafast Laser Physics research lab since 1993 and is the co-founder of the companies Time-Bandwidth Products and GigaTera. Professor Keller has served as the Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research in Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology since 2010 and was a member of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation from 2014 to 2018. She is also the recipient of the 2019 IEEE Edison Medal, the 2018 IEEE Photonics Award, the 2017 Weizmann Women and Science Award, the 2015 Optical Society's Charles Hard Townes Medal, the 2013 LIA Arthur L. Schawlow Award and the 2004 Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis.

Helen Lee

is a researcher with an outstanding career in diagnostics. Dr Lee withdrew from the world of business in the mid-1990s to focus on research. In 1996, she started her ongoing pursuit of technologies and diagnostic assays for resource-strapped regions, as head of the Diagnostics Development Unit at Cambridge University. In 2002, Dr Lee founded the company Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd, and has chaired the Diagnostic Steering Committee at the World Health Organization. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Lord Lloyd Kilgerran Award, the 2006 British Female Inventor in Industry Award, the 2006 European Women of Achievement Award and the 2007 Asian Women of Achievement Award.

Francis Leyder

is the President of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office, also known as epi. An analytical chemist by training, he holds a doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of Liège, Belgium. He held several positions in large oil groups, retiring as head of a patent department, dealing with refining and petrochemistry. Since 1998, he has been lecturing at the Faculty of Sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Elmar Mock

is an inventor, entrepreneur and serial innovator. His career began with the co-invention of the Swatch wristwatch in the 1980s, which employs an ultrasonic welding technique developed by Mock and became the world’s best-selling timepiece. In 1986, Mr Mock founded the consulting company Creaholic – where he is now Honorary President – which develops innovative technological solutions for over 350 clients and has produced 12 successful spin-offs. He is inventor or co-inventor on more than 170 patent families across a variety of industries. In 2010, he was awarded the International Watchmaking Museum's Gaïa Prize for his invention of the Swatch.

Massimo Sideri

is editor-in-chief of Corriere Innovazione and columnist about innovation at the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. He has worked as a journalist at Corriere della Sera focusing on innovation, technology, media and cybercrime since 2000. Mr Sideri holds a degree in Economics from the University of Rome La Sapienza and attended the Ifg-School of Journalism in Milan. He is also adjunct professor of Master Science Communication at the University of Trento, has himself published a number of books, and served as Editorial Director of the Galileo Innovation Festival until 2018.

Agnė Šimukovičė

is a foreign news correspondent at Verslo Zinios, a leading Lithuanian business daily newspaper. Ms Šimukovičė previously worked as a foreign news editor at DELFI Lietuva, a major internet news portal, and holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Vilnius University.

Thierry Sueur

is Vice President, European and International Affairs, responsible for Intellectual Property Strategy, at Air Liquide since 1992. Mr Sueur was previously an IP attorney in private practice and then Vice President, Intellectual Property at Thomson (now Technicolor). He is also Chairman of the IP Committee of the French business Federation MEDEF and Chairman of the Patent Working Group of BUSINESSEUROPE. He is Vice President of ICC-France. Mr Sueur was inducted into the “IP Hall of Fame” in 2014 and was named one of the “50 most influential people in IP” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine. In 2007, he was made a "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur".

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