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Finalists gear up for European Inventor Award 2014 [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

Fifteen inventors of ground-breaking technologies will gather in Berlin next month to vie for prizes at the European Inventor Award 2014.

Finalists include top scientists, engineers and inventors in the fields of biotechnology, construction, environment, mechanics, medical te...
Finalists gear up for European Inventor Award 2014
Fifteen inventors of ground-breaking technologies will gather in Berlin next month to vie for prizes at the European Inventor Award 2014.

Finalists include top scientists, engineers and inventors in the fields of biotechnology, construction, environment, mechanics, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and traffic safety.

An international jury has whittled down the original 300 candidates to 15 inventors and inventor teams. All of the finalists have developed technologies that contribute towards social, technological and economic progress.

Some well known and life-changing solutions have sprung from the labs and workshops of this elite group of finalists. For example, Ingeborg Hochmair and Erwin Hochmair from Austria, nominated for the 'Lifetime achievement award', are the inventors of the invaluable cochlear implant which has helped more than 200 000 people diagnosed with profound deafness or severe hearing loss to hear again and recognise human voice.

You may not have heard of Masahiro Hara and his team from Japan, competing in the 'Non-European countries' category, but you are no doubt familiar with their invention. The QR (Quick Response) code is now used ubiquitously in posters and magazines, as well as being a valuable tool to help manage inventory in factories, administer patient files and track biological samples.

Perhaps less well known but nonetheless innovative is the 'invisible' helmet, developed by Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt from Sweden who are vying for the 'Small and medium-sized enterprises' award. The helmet is worn as a kind of ruff around the neck. In an emergency, it releases an airbag that wraps around the head. These 'airbag' helmets could also be used to protect the heads of epilepsy patients.

Also among the finalists is Christofer Toumazou from the UK who invented the rapid DNA test. Toumazou's test allows for DNA to be analysed quickly, even outside of a laboratory. Based on a microchip that detects genetic disorders on-the-spot, the test can detect a predisposition for hereditary diseases and determine whether a patient is capable of breaking down specific drugs. The chip can be mounted on a USB stick, so that results can be instantly viewed on a computer.

This is just a handful of the 15 finalists competing for awards this year. The public can vote online for these and others in the 'Popular Prize'.

Presented by the European Patent Office (EPO), the European Inventor Award honours inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and contributes to social progress, economic growth and prosperity. EPO President Benoît Battistelli notes, 'The genius of these inventors underlines Europe's role as a prime hub of innovation, fostering the successful deployment of new technologies from all over the world.'
Record Number: 36552 / Last updated on: 2014-05-09
Category: Miscellaneous
Provider: EC