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Every year the European Patent Office recognizes outstanding inventors from around the world who have made exceptional contributions to social development, technological progress and economic growth with the European Inventors Awards.
Nominations are sought in the following categories:
- Industry: for outstanding and successful technologies patented by large European companies
- Research: for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes
- SMEs: for exceptional inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Non-European countries: for all inventors who are not European nationals but have been granted a European patent
- Lifetime achievement: honouring the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor.
The most recent award ceremony took place in Venice on 15 June 2017 and this year's winners were
- Industry: Jan van den Boogaart and Oliver Hayden (Netherlands/Austria)
- Research: Laurent Lestarquit, José Ángel Ávila Rodríguez, Günter W. Hein, Jean-Luc Issler and Lionel Ries (France, Spain, Germany, Belgium)
- Non-EPO countries: James G. Fujimoto, Eric A. Swanson and Robert Huber (USA, Germany)
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): Günter Hufschmid (Germany)
- Popular Prize: Adnane Remmal (Morocco)
- Lifetime achievement: Rino Rappuoli (Italy).
The above film shows the presentations. The winners were chosen from 15 finalists one of whom was Steve Lindsey from the UK who invented an energy-saving rotary air compressor.
Nominations are open for next year's awards. Anybody can propose any inventor including him or herself (see the Nominations page on the EPO's website).
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