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Nominate your favourite inventor for the European Inventor Award 2015!

The European Patent Office (EPO) has now opened the nominations for the prestigious European Inventor Award 2015. This will be the 10th edition of the award and any member of the public can now (nominate the...

The European Inventor Award, which pays tribute to exceptional inventors who make a contribution to social and technological progress and economic growth, comprises five categories which are open for nomination: ‘Lifetime Achievement’, ‘SMEs’, ‘Industry’, ‘Research’ and ‘Non-European Countries’. The ceremony for the 2014 edition of the award took place in Berlin in June. It honoured inventors responsible for creations as diverse as 3D printing, a new tuberculosis (TB) drug and a quick DNA test, among others. Artur Fischer from Germany, one of the most prolific inventors of all time, scooped the ‘Lifetime achievement’ award. Fischer is responsible for the expansion plug (or ‘Fischer wall plug’) which revolutionised the construction industry in 1958 and has been used billions of times around the world ever since. Meanwhile, Masahiro Hara from Japan walked away with the Popular Prize for his invention, the now ubiquitous QR code. Not even two months have passed since this year’s ceremony, but the EPO is already preparing the ground for next year. The comprehensive selection process requires that they get a head-start with submissions. Any member of the public can nominate an inventor or invention of their choice. The EPO also encourages its more than 4 000 patent examiners and examiners at the national patent offices of the 38 member states of the EPO to put forward outstanding inventors. The deadline for nominations is 10 October 2014. There are five award categories, each with a different focus: ‘Industry’ is for outstanding and successful technologies patented by large European companies. ‘SMEs’ is for exceptional inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises; ‘Research’ is for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes, ‘Lifetime achievement’ honours the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor and ‘Non-European countries’ recognises all inventors who are not European nationals but have been granted a European patent. All submissions go through a legal and technical analysis by the EPO experts. The final selection by an international jury evaluates innovations not only on their technological originality but mainly on their economic and social impact. From all the submissions, the jury nominates a shortlist of 15 inventors in the five award categories. The final winners of the awards will be revealed during a ceremonial gala set to take place in June 2015 in Paris. ‘Innovations are the key for Europe, for securing future economic growth and prosperity,’ says EPO President Benoît Battistelli. ‘The presentation of the European Inventor Award is our tribute to the outstanding researchers and scientists who make what we generally call ‘progress’ possible in the first place. I would like to extend an invitation to the public to now submit your nominations for 2015.’For further information, please visit: