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European Inventor Award

Jury members

Jury meeting 2018 The independent jury that judges proposals for the European Inventor Award consists of international authorities in the fields of business, science, academia and research. In 2018, the jury is chaired by Thierry Breton.


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 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.

Thierry Breton – chair of the jury

is a former Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry of France and currently Chairman and CEO of ATOS SE. In his career Thierry Breton has held a number of senior positions in business, politics and academia. Before joining Atos in November 2008, he was a professor at Harvard Business School and chairman and CEO of France Telecom and Thomson. Mr Breton began his career as an entrepreneur in New York, where he created software company Forma Systems. He is a member of many Boards of Directors, including Carrefour in France, Sonatel in Africa and SATS in Singapore. He was elected as President of the French National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT) and Member to the National Academy of Technologies (France) in 2015.

António Campinos

has been Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) since 2010. He previously held the roles of IP Commissioner and President of the Directive Council of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) of Portugal and Chairman of the Ad Hoc working group on the Legal Development of the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks. From 2005 to 2007, he was head of the Portuguese delegation to EUIPO’s Administrative Board, becoming Chairman in 2007, prior to his election as President. Mr Campinos has also previously served as President of the Administrative Council of the Centre d’Études Internationales de la Propiété Intellectuelle (CEIPI).

Jean-Marie Cavada

is a journalist and politician, who has been a member of the European Parliament for Ile de France since 2004. Mr Cavada currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and President of Génération Citoyens. Before entering politics, Mr Cavada had a long and distinguished career in journalism, most notably as the creator, producer and presenter of the French TV programme La Marche du siècle from 1987 to 1999. He also created the TV channel La Cinquième - known as "the knowledge network" - in 1994, serving as its President until 1997. Mr Cavada also held the position of President of the Réseau Outre-Mer and later President of Radio France for seven years (1998-2004).

Dora Groó

is a member of the Board of Administration of the European Platform of Women Scientists and President of the Association of Hungarian Women in Science. A medical doctor by training, she has a PhD in experimental medicine. Dr Groó was Director of the Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation for 18 years, and has been working on European research framework programmes since 1999. She has represented Hungary in the Enwise expert group (ENlarge "Women In Science" to the East) and participated in several gender-related international projects. Dr Groó is national representative for the COST Action genderSTE.

Pirkko Härkönen

is a researcher in the area of hormonal cancer, whose work led to the development of a drug for use as menopausal hormone therapy. Professor Härkönen has been Professor of Medical Cell Biology at the University of Turku, Finland, since 2000, has published over 190 articles and holds several European patents. She is the co founder of two biotechnology companies – Hormos Medical and Pharmatest Services – and has served as a board member and scientific advisor for these companies, using her university research as a basis for business success. Professor Härkönen was a finalist of the EU Prize for Women Innovators in 2016.

Wolfgang M. 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.

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. The unit has filed 12 families of patent applications, and holds around 20 national patents. 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 of Total Research & Technology, dealing with refining and petrochemistry. Since 1998, he has been lecturing at the Faculty of Sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Mario Moretti Polegato

is the inventor of the Geox shoe, whose innovative, breathable technology has earned him numerous accolades, including CNBC European Business Leaders' 2010 Innovator of the Year and Ernst & Young's 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year. Moretti Polegato is Chairman of the Italian Geox Group, which has grown into one of the world's top casual footwear companies. He also lectures on the subject of intellectual property at schools and universities throughout the world. He is Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia.

Adnane Remmal

has dedicated his research career to fighting antibiotic resistance. After getting a PhD in molecular pharmacology from the University of Paris XI, he returned to his home country of Morocco. There he became a professor and researcher at the University of Fez in 1988 and got his second PhD in microbiology in 1994. Professor Remmal’s research on "boosting" antibiotics with essential oils led to the foundation of a start-up company in 2004 and a European patent in 2014, while his parallel research into one of the sources of resistance – the use of antibiotics in livestock feed – resulted in another start-up company and the 2015 Innovation Prize for Africa.