European Patent Office: European Inventor Award 2020
The European Inventor Award is unique in that it honours inventors not only for the genius of their scientific or technological breakthroughs, but also for the impact their invention has on society and the economy, putting a spotlight on the individuals behind the inventions that are changing our lives for the better.
To qualify for the European Inventor Award, all entries must satisfy certain formal conditions.
Anyone can submit an entry: whether you work in industry, at a university or research institute or for a professional association, are an individual inventor, or simply have an interest in the work these people do, there are no restrictions. If you are an inventor, you can even put yourself forward.
- An inventor must be granted at least one European patent for an invention by the European Patent Office.
- The patent must be maintained in force in at least one EPO member state (except for the Lifetime achievement category).
- The patent should show a high degree of inventiveness, display a recognisable benefit to society or the environment and demonstrate proven or potential economic success in Europe.
- Inventors nominated for the Industry, Research, SMEs and Lifetime achievement categories must be citizens of one of the EPO’s 38 member states.
- Inventors from outside the EPO’s member states can only be nominated for the Non-EPO countries category.
- Inventions from all fields of technology for which a European patent can be granted can be nominated for the European Inventor Award.
The European Inventor Award is presented in five categories:
- Industry: The Industry Award is presented in recognition of inventors of outstanding and commercially successful technologies patented by large European companies. These are companies that have more than 250 employees and an annual turnover of more than EUR 50 million.
- Research: This Award honours inventors working at universities or research institutions. Inventions presented in this category will often have led to major technological progress and enhanced the reputation of the inventor's institution.
- Non-EPO Countries: This category is open to all inventors from outside the EPO’s 38 member states, regardless of the size or turnover of the company applying their patented invention. However, the invention or related products must be available and enjoy considerable commercial success in Europe.
- SMEs: This Award is presented to the people behind inventions at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are companies that had fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than EUR 50 million when the patent was granted. Ideally, the invention will have been a commercial success and helped the SME to expand its business.
- Lifetime achievement: This category honours the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor whose dedication and tireless efforts – and patented landmark inventions – have had a major impact on his/her field of technology and society at large.
Winners of the European Inventor Award are presented with a trophy in the shape of a sail. An enduring symbol of exploration and human ingenuity, the sail recalls how an inventive idea can propel humankind to uncharted shores.
Deadline: 30 September 2019.
The independent jury that judges proposals for the European Inventor Award consists of leading experts in the fields of intellectual property, business, science, politics, media and research.