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European Inventor Award – fifteen outstanding inventors competing for the Popular Prize

Australians can vote for researcher Ian Frazer for best invention

  • On 11 June the European Patent Office (EPO) will present the tenth European Inventor Award

  • The winner of the Popular Prize will be selected exclusively by the public in an online poll

  • Australian researcher Ian Frazer up for public voting for best invention

  • Voting open until 4 June on epo.org

Munich, May 18 2015 - Voting has begun for the European Inventor Award's Popular Prize. When the winners of Europe's most prestigious prize for innovation are announced on 11 June in Paris, one of the 15 finalists will also take home the Popular Prize. But unlike the winners in the other categories, who are decided by an international jury, the Popular Prize is the public's choice alone.

The Australian finalist Ian Frazer is up for the public voting. He has been nominated for the Award for the first cervical cancer vaccine, together with the late Jian Zhou from China.

The public is invited to vote online for their favourite finalist on the EPO website or Facebook page. Taking part is quick and easy. More information about the 15 candidates is available at epo.org and facebook.com. The poll is open until 4 June 2015; and the public can vote as often as they like. All voters will be entered into a draw, giving them a chance to win a prize.

Fifteen exceptional inventors vying for the prize

The European Inventor Award jury has selected three finalists for each of the five competition categories.

Finalists in the "Non-European Countries" category are Ian Frazer (Australia) and the late Jian Zhou (China) for the first cervical cancer vaccine, Sumio Iijima, Akira Koshio and Masako Yudasaka (Japan) for their carbon nanotubes, and Elizabeth Holmes (US) for her simplified blood-testing system.

Finalists in the "Industry" category are Jean-Christophe Giron (France) and his team for their electronically tintable glass, Gunnar Asplund (Sweden) for his high-voltage power grid connection without overhead power lines, and the team led by Franz Amtmann (Austria) and Philippe Maugars (France) for their NFC data transfer technology.

Finalists in the "SMEs" category are Laura Johanna van 't Veer (Netherlands) and her team for their gene-based breast cancer test, Michel Lescanne (France) for his peanut paste for combatting malnutrition, and John Elvesjö and Mårten Skogö (Sweden) for their eye-tracking technology that enables computers to be controlled with the eye. 

Finalists in the "Research category" are scientists Luke Alphey (UK) for his new method of controlling dengue fever, Hendrik Marius Jonkers (Netherlands) for his self-healing bioconcrete, and Ludwik Leibler (France) for his new class of polymers, known as vitrimers.

Finalists in the "Lifetime Achievement" category are Ivars Kalvins (Latvia) for his well-known Mildronate heart medication and others, Kornelis Schouhamer Immink (Netherlands) for his coding methods for CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs, and Andreas Manz (Switzerland) for his pioneering research in microfluidics and as the mind behind lab-on-a-chip technology.

More information about the European Inventor Award is also available in our Media centre.

About the European Inventor Award

Launched in 2006, the European Inventor Award is presented annually by the European Patent Office. The award honours inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contributes to social progress, economic growth and prosperity. Fifteen finalists and, subsequently, the winners are chosen from among the nominees by a high-profile international jury. The award is presented in five categories: Industry, Research, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Non-European countries, and Lifetime achievement.


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.