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Watch: European Inventor Award honours the minds behind cutting-edge innovation

Watch: European Inventor Award honours the minds behind cutting-edge innovation

The prestigious European Inventor Award has recognised the people behind the innovations that are changing lives.

Launched by the European Patent Office in 2006, the award pays tribute to the passionate individuals and teams whose scientific, creative and intellectual skills are contributing to global growth and progress. It aims to encourage innovation by giving inventors recognition and incentivising future winners. The nominees are first put forward by the public, then EPO experts and an independent international jury evaluate the innovations based on technical originality, as well as economic and social impact.

The 2017 winners in each category were announced at the ceremony in Venice, Italy on June 15th. The event was attended by high-level representatives from politics, business, research and intellectual property.

“These inventors have not only contributed to furthering technological development, their patented inventions have had a major social and economic impact, from life-saving medical advances and materials to protect our environment to satellite navigation technologies that bring us closer together,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli at the award ceremony. “It is especially fitting that this year’s ceremony is held in Venice – a city with a special place in the history of patents and innovation. This legacy lives on today as witnessed in the group of winners selected from the fifteen finalists for this year’s award.”

2017 winners


  • Jan van den Boogaart and Oliver Hayden (Netherlands, Austria) – Rapid blood test for malaria


  • Laurent Lestarquit, José Ángel Ávila Rodríguez and team (France, Spain) – Radio signals for better satellite navigation

Non-EPO countries

  • James G. Fujimoto, Eric A. Swanson and Robert Huber (USA, Germany) – High-resolution medical imaging (OCT)

Small and medium-sized enterprises

  • Günter Hufschmid (Germany) – Super-sponge for oil spills

Popular Prize

  • Adnane Remmal (Morocco) – Boosting antibiotics with essential oils

Lifetime achievement

  • Rino Rappuoli (Italy) – Novel vaccines by gene analysis