Wednesday, July 10, 2024

European Inventor Awards (6) - The Trophy

 Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The European Inventor Awards Trophy was designed by the German Industrial Designer, Miriam Irle. The trophy is shaped like a sail (no English pun intended). A sail that harnessed the winds of exploration some 3000 years ago as a lasting symbol of innovation. However, the trophy design is not only loaded with symbolic meaning, the trophy is also produced each year using an industrial process, material or craft that is quintessential in the country hosting the awards ceremony. 

This year was no exception. The trophy was made of limestone, the most abundant building material found on the island of Malta, also used for centuries to build churches, palaces and the walled cities of the island. Cities like Valletta, the capital of Malta, built in the 1500s, now a Unesco World Heritage Center, hosting the 2024 European Inventor Awards ceremony. For a historical city celebrating innovation on the occasion of the 2024 EPO Awards ceremony, this year’s trophy also combined the innovation of 3D printing using the iconic and historical building material of the island of Malta. 


European Inventor Awards 2024 

Miriam Irle

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

European Inventor Awards 2024 (5) – The Winners

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The winners of the European Inventor Awards 2024 were announced earlier, at 12:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST), on July 9th, 2024. The high-tech ceremony was live-streamed online from Valletta, the UNESCO World Heritage Center, and capital city of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Ocean, 80 miles from the coast of Sicily. The European Inventor Lifetime Achievement Award was announced, as well as the winning inventors in the four Award categories of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, Non-European Countries, and Research. The three Young European Inventor finalists were also each awarded cash prizes. Finally, the Popular Prize was announced, with the polling QR Code flashing onscreen live, well into the ceremony. The hyperlinked list of winners is included below:

Lifetime Achievement

Dame Carol Vivien Robinson (UK)  (info here)

Invention: Mass spectrometry that has significantly advanced biochemical research and medical diagnostics. 


Fiorenzo Dioni (IT) and Richard Oberle (DE) (info here)

Invention: Reduction of carbon emissions in automotive manufacturing using high-precision aluminum casting methods. 

Small and Medium Enterprises & Popular Prize (info here)

Olga Malinkiewicz and team (PO)

Invention: Printable solar cell technology that is very cost-effective.  

Non-European Countries

​​Masato Sagawa (JP) (info here)

Invention:  Super strength magnets, crucial to various high-tech applications. 


Cordelia Schmid (DE) (info here)

Invention: AI solutions for improved machine visual perception.

Young Inventors' Prizes

First place 20,000 euros–Rochelle Niemeijer (NL) (info here)

Invention: Portable AI-driven chemistry kit that quickly identifies bacteria causing infections like urinary tract infections. This invention allows for faster, point-of-service, and more accurate medical treatment decisions.

Second place 10,000 euros–Valentyn Frechka (UA) (info here)

Invention: Method to turn fallen leaves into sustainably made paper, significantly reducing the need for tree harvesting in paper production.

Third place $5000 euros–Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime, and Sirine Ayari (TN) (info here)

Invention: Thought, voice and facial movement-driven wheelchair control system, enhancing mobility and autonomy for individuals with severe physical disabilities. 


Below, the YouTube video of the 2024  Inventor Award Ceremony. 

Congratulations to all!

This year's European Inventor Awards ceremony was also an occasion to announce sweeping changes to the future European Inventor Awards and Young European Inventor Prizes. Going forward, the Awards and Prizes will take place on alternating years.  Beginning in 2025, Young European Inventors will compete separately for Prizes that will be announced at a ceremony, taking place for the first time in Iceland. Whereas, the next European Inventor Awards competition and ceremony will take place in 2026 (at a hitherto undisclosed location), independently from the Young Inventors competition. The nominations period  for the Young European Inventor Prizes extends from this day through to September 27, 2024.    


EPO announces European Inventor Award winners

Nominations for the 2025 Young Inventor Prizes 

Friday, June 28, 2024

Released! Translating the Language of Patents

 Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Available at 
Directly at Routledge (for softcover and preview copies )

This book is a guide to translating the language of patents in view of avoiding costly translation errors. Errors that might hinder the examination process for granting patents, or that might make patents undefendable in a context of litigation.

The 42 sections of this book each identify different provisions of the law for their relevance to translation. These provisions govern language uses, right down to the use of punctuation. Each of the sections present findings, both in terms of the relevant provisions identified, and their specific significance to translation. Exemplified translations focus on French and English, but when there is a consensus across Intellectual property systems, multilingual parallelism is highlighted.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

European Inventor Awards 2024 (4) - The Jury.

 Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The European Inventor Awards Jury selected the twelve 2024 contest finalists out of a pool of more than 550 proposals. The Jury was made up of distinguished scientists and entrepreneurs, former finalists or winners of the contest in previous years. The following  six women and seven men were members of the 2024 Jury:

(from right to left)

Wolfgang M. Heckl (Chair) is Director General of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
Catia Bastioli, CEO of the Novamont Group, an international leader in the bioplastics and biochemicals sector. 

Winner European Inventor Award 2007 (SMEs/Research)

Nuno Correia, Founder of SolarisFloat Ltd, and co-inventor of a mooring platform for floating solar farms that tracks the sun.  

Finalist European Inventor Award 2022 (SMEs)

Nuria Espallargas, Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering NTNU, Norway.

Finalist European Inventor Award 2022 (SMEs)

Joachim Fiedler,  Professional cellist in several orchestras and ensemble. In 2007, founded Fidlock GmbH to develop quick-release magnetic-mechanical fasteners for cello bows, and additional applications. 

Finalist  European Inventor Award 2022 (SMEs)

Peter Holme Jensen, PhD and founder of Aquaporin, a company that develops natural, sustainable water treatment solutions.

Winner of the European Inventor Award 2014 (SMEs)

Marta Karczewicz, Vice-President of Technology at Qualcomm, where she has driven advances in data coding algorithms since 2006. 

Winner of the  European Inventor Award 2019 for Lifetime Achievement

Ursula Keller, Professor at ETH Zurich in the Ultrafast Laser Physics research lab and co-founder of several companies. 

Winner of the European Inventor Award 2018 for Lifetime Achievement

Agnès Poulbot, Senior expert at Michelin, where she co-invented a regenerative tire tread technology that extends tire life and reduces fuel consumption.

Winner of the European Inventor Award 2018 (Industry)

Erin Smith, Entrepreneur and inventor of FacePrint, a screening tool that uses AI to analyze facial expressions that indicate the onset of Parkinson's.

Winner of the Young Inventors First Prize 2022

Richard Turere, Conservationist, entrepreneur and author from Kenya.

Winner of Young Inventors First Prize 2023

Zhentian Wang, Associate Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, dedicated to developing X-ray imaging methods for advanced breast cancer screening. 

Finalist European Inventor Award 2022 (Non-EPO Countries)


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

EPO Popular Prize (3) - Vote here!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The European Patent Organization (EPO) invites the public to vote for the Finalist who will receive the Popular Prize. The Popular Prize winner, solely decided by the public, will be announced on the occasion of the European Inventor Awards Ceremony, to be held in Malta, on July 9, 2024. 

The rules for voting are the following:

  • You may vote as many times as you like, but only once a day, for any one of the 12 Finalists.
  • You may vote as many times as you like, up to the Awards Ceremony. Votes are counted during the ceremony. 
  • Voting is free.
  • Registration to vote requires an authenticated email, or social media account, the first time you vote. 

Click below to vote for your favorite inventors/inventions!


European Inventor Award: Meet the Finalists. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Young European Inventor Finalists (2)

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Since 2022, the European Inventor Awards include three cash prizes, granted to three young (<30) inventors. The cash prizes are in the amount of 20,000 euros for the first prize, 10,000 euros for the second prize, and 5,000 euros for the third prize. The selected inventions are all required to address one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)*.

The 2024 selected young inventors are the following:

Rochelle Niemeijer (Netherlands): Founder of Nostics, and inventor of an AI-driven point-of-care test kit to detect and identify bacterial infections. Niemeijer's invention arises within the larger context of antibiotic resistance, responsible for an estimated one million deaths each year. The test kits, using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), provide results in about 15 minutes. They also bypass the need for expert users, or having to send samples to a lab for analysis. Inspired by the absence of diagnostic tools and doctors on a trip to Cambodia, the project addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3 (Good health and well-being).

  • US2023152235A1 - Improved biomolecule detection using surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy.
  • NL2032167B1 - Method for preparing a SERS substrate for pathogen analysis in a sample.

Valentyn Frechka (Ukraine)Inventor of sustainable paper made from fallen leaves, and founder of the company Releaf Paper. Initially a high school science project, this invention addresses both deforestation and carbon emissions. It takes an average of 17 trees to produce enough cellulose for a ton of paper. With 2.3 tons of leaves, collected from parks and green spaces, one ton of cellulose is produced which is then processed into paper. Fallen leaf paper also has a much shorter degradation cycle of approximately 30 days, compared to 270 for traditional paper. When the Ukraine war broke out in 2022, Frechka relocated his company to France, where he now has major clients such as L’Oréal, Chanel and Samsung. The Releaf Paper invention addresses the UN Sustainable Development  Goals (SDG) #9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure) and (SDG) #12 (Responsible consumption and production). 

  • WO2023182969A1 - A method for producing a chemi-thermomechanical fibrous pulp from non-wood plant raw materials and an automated line for producing said pulp by said method.
  • UA155709U - A method for the production of eco-paper products using modified fallen leaves.

Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime and Sirine Ayari (Tunisia): Founders of Gewinner, this group of four young Tunisian women invented the multimodal MOOVOBRAIN system for operating wheelchairs with varying degrees of upper body disability. In one mode, the wheelchair is facial gesture-controlled. In a second mode, the wheelchair is voice-controlled. In a third mode, the wheelchair is virtual joystick-controlled. The system is mobile phone-based, compatible with a large variety of electric wheelchairs. The MOOVOBRAIN invention addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) #3 (Good health and well-being) and (SDG) #10 (Reduced inequalities).

  • TN2019000088A1 - Système de pilotage et de surveillance a distance d'une chaise roulante electrique par voix et pensée.


Note: *Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations, offer a popular framework of clearly identifiable and measurable goals to end world poverty, in global partnership with civil society and government agencies. 

Meet the (young inventor) finalists.
Nostics BV
Releaf Paper
UN Sustainable Development Goals

Saturday, June 8, 2024

European Inventor Awards 2024 (1) - The Finalists

 Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

On July 9, 2024, the prestigious European Inventor Awards will be conferred upon inventors competing in one of four categories:  Industry, Small and Medium (S&M) Enterprise,  Research, and Non-European Patent Organization. This year, the ceremony will take place in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Malta, on the Island Republic of Malta, next to the southern Italian island of Sicily.   

Below, the list of the 12 finalists and their competing inventions, in each of the four categories. 


Ferham Sigurjonsson and team  (Iceland): wound healing fish-skin graft.

  • EP2485779B1 - A scaffold material for wound care and/or other tissue healing applications.
  • EP2575795B8 - Stabilized formulation comprising omega-3 fatty acids and use of the fatty acids for skin care and/or wound care.

​​Ulf Landegren, Simon Fredriksson and team​ (Sweden): molecular diagnostics for improved disease detection

  • EP2714925B1 - Multiplexed proximity ligation assay.
  • EP2920320B1 -RCA reporter probes and their use in detecting nucleic acid molecules.
  • EP2707502B1 - Unfolding proximity probes and methods for the use thereof.

Fiorenzo Dioni (Italy) and Richard Oberle (Germany): reduction of carbon emission in automotive manufacturing.

Small and Medium (S&M) Enterprise

Olga Malinkiewicz and team​ (Poland): printable solar cell technology.

  • EP3227394B1 - A film-forming composition and a method for manufacturing a photoactive film.
  • EP3719001B1- A method for synthesis of organic iodides.

​​Bruno Mottet, Lyderic Bocquet and team(France): sustainable osmotic energy production. 

  • EP3344374B1 - Device for producing energy by salinity gradient through nano-fluid titanium oxide membranes.
  • EP2909477B1 - Method and device for producing energy.

Sirpa Jalkanen and Markku Jalkanen (Finland): targeted immunotherapy for cancer treatment.

  • EP2421888 - Clever-1 receptor antagonists for blocking immune-inhibitory type 2 macrophages.
  • EP3445785B1 - Humanized anti-clever-1 antibodies and their use.


​​​​Cordelia Schmid​ (Germany): AI solutions for improved machine visual perception.

  • EP3547211 - Methods for training a cnn and classifying an action performed by a subject in an inputted video using said cnn.
  • EP3549102 - Determining structure and motion in images using neural networks.

Tonio Sant, Daniel Buhagiar and team​ (Malta): improved energy storage for offshore wind farms.

David Devos, Caroline Moreau and team(France): improved treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

  • EP3142651B1 - Pharmaceutical solution comprising dopamine for use in treating Parkinson's disease.

Non-European Patent Organization country

David Fattal (USA):  3D imaging without glasses.

  • EP3175267B1 - Multibeam diffraction grating-based color backlighting.
  • EP3248058B1 - Unidirectional grating-based backlighting employing a reflective island.
  • EP3283923B1 - 2D/3D mode-switchable electronic display with dual layer backlight.

Masato Sagawa (Japan): superior strength magnets.

  • EP3260380B1 - Manufacturing method of a sintered magnet.
  • EP2889883B1 - NDFEB-based sintered magnet.
  • EP2696355B1 - Manufacturing method for a sintered neodymium magnet.

​Fernando Catalano, Micael Carmo and team (Brazil): reduced noise and carbon emissions in air travel.

  • EP2137066B1 - Aerodynamic seal for reduction of noise generated on aircraft control surfaces.
  • EP3676172B1 - Retractable leading edge wing slats having autonomously curvable airflow shield for noise-abatement.
  • EP3676173B1 - Noise abatement systems for retractable leading edge wing slats of an aircraft.

European Inventor Awards 2024 -: Meet the finalists