European Inventor Award 2023 winners announced
The European Patent Office (EPO) honours inspirational inventors for their outstanding contributions to improving our daily lives. Award winners come from China, Finland, France, Ireland and Spain.
The European Patent Office (EPO) announced in July the laureates of the European Inventor Award 2023 , its prestigious annual innovation prize, and the Young Inventors Prize, in a ceremony in Valencia. The winners were chosen by an independent international jury.
This year's winners of the European Inventor Award were chosen from over 600 candidates proposed from around the world. The finalists represent 12 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy and the United States. Many of their innovations aim to improve the everyday lives of people around the world and tackle society’s biggest challenges, such as environmental issues or the energy transition.
“The innovation shown by this year’s winners, in the face of the modern world’s many shared challenges, such as sustainability, the energy transition and social inequality, is a source of inspiration. Through the European Inventor Award, the European Patent Office celebrates their work and the progress it represents,” says EPO President António Campinos.
The Finnish team of Pia Bergström, Annika Malm, Jukka Myllyoja, Jukka-Pekka Pasanen and Blanka Toukoniitty for turning waste into renewable fuel. Their work converts waste and residue raw materials, like animal fat waste and used cooking oil, into premium-quality renewable fuels. The renewable diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by between 75-95% compared to fossil diesel, according to the inventors’ company.
Chinese inventor Kai Wu and team for lowering the risk of car explosions caused by lithium-ion batteries. Wu’s team developed a safety short circuit device (SSD), a protection device integrated into the battery. When triggered, the invention would stop the battery charging, thus eliminating the risk of battery failure caused by overcharging.
The French team of Patricia de Rango, Daniel Fruchart, Albin Chaise, Michel Jehan and Nataliya Skryabina for finding a safe and efficient way to store hydrogen. The team developed an atomic structure and process that results in safer, sustainable and more stable hydrogen storage.
Irish physicists Rhona Togher and Eimear O'Carroll invented a new material for preventing ear damage caused by noise. Their responsive material works to dampen sound, reducing noise transmission from one space to another. It can be integrated into household appliances and can be used also in the automotive, construction and aerospace industries.
The Spanish chemist, Avelino Corma Canós is a widely acclaimed pioneer in the field of catalysts. His legacy, however, is the Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ, UPV-CSIC), an institution he co-founded to drive chemistry research in energy, sustainability, health and water.
Young Inventors Prize
Launched in 2022 this prize recognises the initiative and creativity of young people. The winner receives EUR 20 000. The second and third placed finalists receive EUR 10 000 and EUR 5 000 respectively.
First place: Richard Turere is a 22-year-old Maasai inventor from Kenya who was deeply concerned with protecting his family’s livestock without endangering the local lion population. To address this issue, he developed Lion Lights™, a system that uses light sequences to deter lions and other predators from approaching livestock. It has been successfully adopted in multiple countries in Africa as well as in India and Latin America to deter various animals.
Second place: Filipa de Sousa Rocha, a 27-year-old Portuguese computer engineer and researcher, is dedicated to enhancing digital learning for visually impaired children. Her invention allows children to send commands to a robot using directional movements or speech functions similar to playing a drag-and-drop computer game.
Third place: Fionn Ferreira, a 22-year-old Irish inventor, whose passion for ocean conservation led him to uncover a solution for microplastic removal from water sources. He developed a unique magnetic liquid solution to eliminate microplastics from water. By binding to microplastic particles, his liquid allows for their separation from water sources, helping combat one of the world’s most pressing ecological challenges.
Three of the biggest names in global technology have joined forces to highlight the ability of already-available 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation solutions to transform manufacturing and improve productivity, efficiency, environmental impact and safety, while reducing costs.
Valmet will deliver key technologies, automation and services to Naini Papers’ cooking and fiberline rebuild and new specialty paper machine PM 3 at their mill in Kashipur, India. The delivery will increase the mill’s capacity and support meeting the market demand of specialty coated paper. The delivery is scheduled for the first quarter 2025.