Press release | 6.3.2015
Munich, 6 March 2015 -The EPO has chosen to mark International Women's Day (8 March) by highlighting the creative power of women, and is dedicating a retrospective to some of the most important female inventors of our time. Starting today, the EPO will be taking an in-depth look at women's talent for innovation in specially produced videos and background information on its website. Because it's worth remembering that many of the inventions that have changed our lives are actually down to women.
Every year, women comprise about one in nine proposals for the European Inventor Award, and a similar proportion make it through to the jury. The first woman to win the Award was Italian inventor and entrepreneur Catia Bastioli in 2007, for her biodegradable plastics. The UK's Sophie Wilson won a nomination for the coveted prize in 2013 for her ground-breaking ARM processor on which 90% of today's mobile phones and smartphones operate. The European Inventor Award has also recognised female excellence in the area of safety and design. Swedish designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, for instance, were nominated in 2014 for their invisible bike helmet, and Fiona Fairhurst was nominated in 2009 for her revolutionary swimsuit, which played an instrumental role in numerous world records for swimming.
For Mandy Haberman, a successful entrepreneur and inventor of the non-spill feeding cup, it is important for women to believe in themselves: "As women we have to invent and do things which are mind-blowing, in the same way that men do."
The EPO is proud that the European Inventor Award jury includes such famous inventors as Mandy Haberman, biochemist Christine van Broeckhoven and Ingeborg Hochmair, inventor of the cochlear implant for people with hearing loss.
To celebrate International Women's Day, the EPO will be presenting a technological retrospective of the past decade, illustrated by reference to female nominees and winners. Which female inventors were nominated and where were they from? What was the impetus for their invention, and what is its impact on today's society? The answers to these and other questions will be provided on the EPO website. For more information and videos, visit us at www.epo.org/european-inventor or on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/europeanpatentoffice.
About the EPO
With more than 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Its headquarters are in Munich and it also has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.
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