Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 5224 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM European Inventor Award The European Inventor Award, now in its 11th year, is one of Europe’s most prestigious innovation prizes. Launched by the European Patent Office in 2006, the annual award distinguishes individual inventors and teams of inventors whose pioneering inventions provide answers to some of the biggest challenges of our times. The winners are selected by an independent jury consisting of international authorities in the fields of business, science, academia and research, who examine the proposals in terms of their contribution toward technical progress, social development, and wealth and job creation in Europe. The general public also takes part in conferring the award: the winner of the Popular Prize is chosen from among the 15 finalists by online voting. INDUSTRY Bernhard Gleich, Jürgen Weizenecker and team (Germany) Germany physicists Bernhard Gleich and Jürgen Weizenecker and their team received the award in the industry category for laying the foundation of a new category of medical imaging solutions. Developed in the laboratory of Philips Research Hamburg, magnetic particle imaging offers real-time images of body tissues in unprecedented quality. Their magnet-based imaging method, currently in pre-clinical evaluation, promises to enable doctors to obtain instant 3D images of tissue complications, including cancers and vascular diseases. SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMES) Tue Johannessen, Ulrich Quaade, Claus Hviid Christensen and Jens Kehlet Nørskov (Denmark) The Danish research team received the award in the SME category for the groundbreaking application of ammonia in solid form to reduce air pollution from diesel engines and act as an emissions-free fuel. Released into the exhaust system of diesel engines, it can reduce the amount of harmful emitted NOx (mono-nitrogen oxides; a key component of smog) by up to 99 per cent. Theirs is a true start-up success story powered by patented inventions. RESEARCH Alim-Louis Benabid (France) French physicist and neurosurgeon Alim-Louis Benabid was honoured for revolutionising the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions with the use of high-frequency deep brain stimulation. Based on controlled electric charges administered via a probe implanted into the patient’s skull—akin to a ‘brain pacemaker’—Benabid’s method has become a standard treatment around the world, and has benefited more than 150,000 people, who can now lead self- directed, independent lives thanks to the invention. NON-EUROPEAN COUNTRIES Robert Langer (United States) U.S. chemical engineer Robert Langer received the award in the lifetime achievement category for the groundbreaking invention of biodegradable plastics that encapsulate powerful anti-cancer drugs for a new level of targeted delivery. Langer’s bioplastics can be shaped into ‘wafers’ filled with cancer-starving drugs, implanted right above the sites of tumours where natural degradation releases the drug for maximum efficacy. Langer’s patented inventions have been licensed to more than 300 pharmaceutical companies and have already benefited more than one million people worldwide. The prolific inventor heads a team of more than 100 researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Anton van Zanten (Germany/Netherlands) Engineer Anton van Zanten was honoured for his landmark contributions to automotive safety systems, which have saved thousands of lives and are now mandatory features in new automobiles. Throughout an automotive engineering career with German company Robert Bosch spanning more than 40 years, van Zanten pioneered the electronic stability control system and other solutions to prevent automobiles from veering off the road and crashing in extreme braking situations. POPULAR PRIZE Helen Lee (UK/France) Cambridge University researcher Helen Lee was picked by an overwhelming majority of the public to receive the Popular Prize Award for her invention of diagnostic kits for resource-poor regions of the globe. Already used to test more than 40,000 people, her robust, instant blood diagnostic kits are cost-effective and easy to use for detection of infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and chlamydia. Lee received more than 36,300 votes, or 64 per cent, of the total record number of 56,700 votes cast online by the public in the five weeks leading up to the award ceremony (up from 46,800 total votes last year). This was by far the highest number of public votes ever received by any European Inventor Award finalist since the launch of the popular prize category in 2013. 2016 EUROPEAN INVENTOR AWARD WINNERS EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE 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 cooperation 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 on patent information and patent searching.