The EPO presented the European Inventor Award 2014, last week 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.”
Winners in Industry category are Koen Andries (Belgium), Jérôme Guillemont (France) and team. The team was distinguished for their efforts in developing the first new effective tuberculosis (TB) drug in 40 years. Thanks to the research team led by Andries and Guillemont, the disease – including multi-drug resistant forms – can now be treated successfully. The innovative drug quickly cuts off the energy supply in TB bacteria, significantly reducing treatment times and enabling a full recovery.