European Inventor Award

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Listen to a series of in-depth, informative and entertaining interviews with the brightest minds at the European Inventor Award.


Jury members

The 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 2021, the jury was chaired by Helen Lee.


Helen Lee (Chair)

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.

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).

Sylwia Czubkowska

is a journalist at the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza where she specialises in topics such as innovation, new technologies and the protection of intellectual property. She has previously worked for Polish newspapers Dziennik, The Times Poland and Przekrój magazine. Ms Czubkowska has been nominated twice for the Grand Press Award, and is a three-time laureate of the ‘President of the Polish Patent Office competition’ for articles about patents and their role in the economy. She holds a degree in political science from the University of Warsaw.

Jens Frahm

is a biophysicist and Director of the Biomedical NMR Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany. Having studied physics at the University of Göttingen, Frahm earned his PhD in physical chemistry in 1977 with a thesis on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In the 1980s he pioneered the revolutionary technique FLASH which reduced the scanning time for MRI scans by a factor of 100. His current research focuses on the further development of real-time MRI FLASH2 technology and its scientific and diagnostic applications.

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 Quantum Optics and 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

Roger Highfield is the Science Director of the Science Museum Group, a collection of five British museums devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media, and also a member of the UK's Medical Research Council. 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 eight popular science books, and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines

Jean-Luc Issler

is a Senior Expert and Senior Advisor at CNES Radio Frequency (RF) Directorate and has been involved in the development of many innovative space borne RF systems in Europe, for transmissions, navigation and spectrum monitoring. Issler has held various roles over the course of his almost 30 years at CNES. A graduate of the Ecole Supérieure d’Electronique de l’Ouest engineering school, Issler was a member of the European team which developed the signalling technology for Galileo, Europe's global navigation satellite system (GNSS). He has received the AAAF Astronautic Prize and the EADS Science and Engineering Prize of French Academy of Sciences.

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.

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.

Renata Righetti Pelosi

is Managing Partner and President of Italian law firm Bugnion spa, specialised in intellectual property, where she has worked since 1982. She is European, Italian and San Marino Trademark and Design Attorney. Righetti Pelosi was President of AIPPI (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) until 2020.

Jean-Pierre Santos

is the Head of the Intellectual Property Division of the Business Development Agency of the Government of Monaco. Mr Santos has previously worked as a Legal Administrator for the Monegasque government. He holds a Postgraduate degree in Industrial Property from the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI).

Luisa Santos

is Director for International Relations at BusinessEurope and a member of the Trade Expert Group of the European Commission. Ms Santos holds a degree in law and management. Santos’ background lies in the textile sector, having worked as the chief representative for the Portuguese textile industry in Brussels and later as Trade and Industry Manager for EURATEX – the European Apparel and Textile Confederation. While working for a leading Portuguese textiles company, she was responsible for managing international partnerships.

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