European Inventor Award

Your favourite inventor hasn’t been honoured yet?

Nominate your favorite inventor


European Patent Office
Tel: +49 (0)89 2399 1830

Fax: +49 (0)89 2399 1835



Nominations for the European Inventor Award 2019 are now open!

This Award is unique in that it honours inventors not only for the genius of their scientific or technological breakthroughs, but also for the impact their invention has on society and the economy, putting a spotlight on the individuals behind the inventions that are changing our lives for the better.

You can help determine who will receive the highly coveted Award trophy by nominating an inventor. Simply fill in the nomination form and your inventor could end up on the stage of our prestigious Award ceremony.

Deadline for submissions: 28 September 2018

European Inventor Award 2017 trophies

The categories

Icon for EIA category Industry


To outstanding and successful inventors whose inventions have been patented by large European companies

Icon for EIA category Research


To pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes

Icon for EIA category Non-EPO countries

Non-EPO countries

To outstanding inventors from outside the EPO's 38 member states who have been granted a European patent

Icon for EIA category SMEs


To exceptional inventors at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Icon for EIA category Lifetime achievement

Lifetime achievement

Honouring the incredible, long-term contribution of European inventors over the span of their entire careers

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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