The EPO presented the European Inventor Award 2014, in Berlin to outstanding inventors or teams, honouring their contribution to social, economic and technological progress.
The award ceremony, held at the former Kaiserliches Telegrafenamt (Imperial Telegraph Office) in Germany’s capital, was attended by some 500 guests from the fields of business, science, culture and politics, including German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maas.
“Innovation is absolutely essential for Europe to generate growth and prosperity and secure its position among the leading industrial regions,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli at the award ceremony. “All of the inventors we are honouring here today have introduced game-changing technological innovations in their respective fields. Their achievements improve people’s everyday lives, and represent substantial contributions to tackling major global challenges such as climate change, access to clean drinking water and improving health. Their ingenuity and creativity are indicative of Europe’s position as a leading technology region. And patents play a major role in protecting this status on a daily basis.”
The winner in Lifetime achievement category is Artur Fischer (Germany)
With over 1 100 applications for patents and utility models, Artur Fischer is one of the most prolific inventors of all time. His invention and namesake, the expansion plug (or “Fischer wall plug”) revolutionised the construction industry in 1958 and has been used billions of times around the world ever since. Other innovations which have earned him worldwide recognition include the first synchronised photo flash for cameras and his “fischertechnik” toy building sets.