European Patent Office announces winners of the European Inventor Award 2021

  • European Patent Office (EPO) honours outstanding inventors for their exceptional contributions to technology, society and the economy
  • German physicist Karl Leo receives the Award in the ‘Lifetime achievement' category for his pioneering work on highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)
  • Winners in the four other categories are: Per Gisle Djupesland (Industry), Robert N. Grass and Wendelin Stark (Research), Sumita Mitra (Non-EPO Countries), and Henrik Lindström and Giovanni Fili (SMEs)
  • Popular Prize, determined by a public vote, goes to Serbian-American biomedical engineer Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

The European Patent Office (EPO) announced yesterday, 17 June 2021, the winners of the European Inventor Award 2021, its prestigious annual innovation prize. The individuals and teams were recognised for their innovative contributions in the fields of nasal drug delivery, DNA-based data storage, nanomaterials in dentistry, solar cells for self-charging devices, organic semiconductors, and advances in tissue engineering.

Now in its 15th year, the European Inventor Award is presented annually by the EPO to distinguish outstanding individuals from Europe and beyond who have made an exceptional contribution to society, technological progress and economic growth.

The finalists and winners in five categories were selected by an independent international jury. They have all made use of the European patent system to protect their technologies and, in so doing, enabled other researchers and inventors to build on their innovations.

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