Honouring outstanding inventors

19 May 2011

The European Inventor Award 2011 goes to pioneers in medical research and implant technology, clean energy, construction and water purification

The EPO, in co-operation with the Hungarian EU Council Presidency and the European Commission, announced today the winners of the European Inventor Award 2011 at a ceremony held at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

The Winners (JPG)

The winners are:

  • Per-Ingvar Brånemark (Sweden - Lifetime Achievement);
  • Ann Lambrechts, Bekaert (Belgium - Industry),
  • Jens Dall Bentzen, Dall Energy Aps (Denmark - SMEs);
  • Christine Van Broeckhoven, VIB, University of Antwerp (Belgium - Research);
  • Ashok Gadgil and Vikas Garud, University of California/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, WaterHealth International (Non-European countries - USA/India).
Benoît Battistelli (JPG)

"European patents play an important role in the cycle from idea to market success. The winners of the European Inventor Award have benefited from the patent system, not only coming up with breakthroughs in their technical fields, but supporting the development of their companies or institutions, they have actively contributed to job creation to the improvement of people's daily lives," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli.

"This award highlights that Europe continues to be a leader in technical innovation," said Pál Schmitt, President of Hungary. "Hungary is truly honoured to be hosting the ceremony for Europe's most prestigious inventor award.. I hope it will boost innovation in our country, as we attach great importance to the ability of society and its people to innovate and drive change and progress. "

"The  nominees that are being honoured at this event are without a doubt a strong reflection on Europe's capacity for innovation, and an indication of a regulatory environment that supports and promotes competition and progress", said EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. "The European Patent Office will soon be called upon to deliver unitary patent protection, Inventors then can receive protection for their inventions across 25 EU member states in one single step, meaning a removal of bureaucracy and a lowering of the cost of patents. I trust  this will stimulate further innovation," he said.


Launched in 2006, the European Inventor Award is presented annually by the EPO, in co-operation with the European Commission and the country holding the EU Council Presidency at the time of the award ceremony, which this year is Hungary.

The awards, which are purely symbolic and involve no material recompense, honour inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contribute to progress and prosperity. Nomination proposals are submitted by the public and by patent examiners at the EPO and Europe's national patent offices. The winners are chosen from among the nominees by a high-profile international jury, which includes prominent personalities such as European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek.

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