Young Inventors prize


Younger generations play an essential role in shaping our common future, and acknowledging their potential is a must. To encourage the next generation of inventors, the European Patent Office has now established the Young Inventors prize. Aimed at innovators aged 30 and under, it will recognise problem-solving initiatives across all technical fields and offer a cash prize to the winner and two additional finalists. 

The finalists will be revealed on Tuesday, 24 May. The first, second and third places will be announced at the ceremony on the 21 June 2022.

Sustainability in focus

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations, ranging from climate action and sustainable cities to quality education and zero hunger. The EPO wants to acknowledge young innovators who use technology to develop solutions that will help reach these goals and positively impact our live for a better future.

Who can make a proposal?

Any member of the public may propose candidates or themselves for the Young Inventors prize.

What are the requirements?

The Young Inventors prize is open to any individual or group worldwide with a maximum age of 30 at the time of the award. You can propose any idea, project or product in any field of technology. Each proposal must be accompanied by supporting information that is already in the public domain, for example, granted intellectual property rights, published scientific papers, case studies or audio-visual material. The initiative must aim at using a technical solution to solve a problem within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To learn more, please read the eligibility rules and conditions.

How will the proposals be evaluated?

Each proposal will be checked by an EPO multi-disciplinary panel of experts before a shortlist is sent to the independent jury of the European Inventor Award, who will select three finalists, including one winner.

The jury will consider the following hierarchy when evaluating the supportive documentation submitted with the nominated initiatives (listed in order of descending importance):

Hierarchy pyramid

When is the deadline for proposals?

The nomination period for the Young Inventors prize 2022 is closed. The finalists will be announced six weeks prior to the annual European Inventor Award ceremony, and the winner will be announced at the ceremony.

Are there any prizes?

The winner will be revealed at the European Inventor Award ceremony in June 2022. A cash incentive has been made available to support young or early-career innovators to help them advance their work. The winner will receive a cash prize of EUR 20 000, the second and third placed finalists will receive EUR 10 000 and EUR 5 000 respectively.

Please note that the Young Inventors prize acknowledges and rewards the work done by younger generations in the field of sustainability, but it does not in any case constitute a statement of patentability. The pursuit of a patent application runs under the provisions of the EPC and is to be assessed independently by examining and opposition divisions. Hence, a selection for the Young Inventors prize which is done by an independent international jury has no bearing on the patent granting or opposition processes. No claims, rights or expectations may be derived from participation in the Young Inventors prize, or from any form of acknowledgment or reward in connection with the Young Inventors prize. 

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