European Inventor Awards 2023 are now open!
The award was first launched by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2006 and celebrates innovation by rewarding inventors responsible for technological breakthroughs driving the future.
Inventors are the creative forces behind technological progress and economic growth and so the award gives inventors well-deserved recognition. The competition also incentivises potential nominees and winners, as well as encouraging ideas and their protection. This year, there are six categories in which an invention or an inventor can be nominated:
- Industry: open to inventors whose inventions have been patented by large European companies, i.e., companies with more than 250 employees and an annual turnover of more than €50 million.
- Research: open to inventors working at research institutes and/or universities, who have often led major technological progress and enhanced the reputation of the inventor’s institution.
- Non-EPO countries: open to inventors from outside the EPO’s 38 member states, who have been granted a European patent. The invention (or related products) must be available and be commercially successful in Europe.
- SMEs: open to inventors at small and medium-sized enterprises, i.e., companies with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than €50 million at the time that the patent was granted. Ideally, but not essentially, the invention will also have been commercially successful and driven expansion of the SME.
- Lifetime achievement: acknowledges a long-term contribution by a European inventor over the span of their career whose innovation and patented inventions have had a major impact on their field and society more generally.
- Young Inventors Prize: this category was first seen in the 2022 awards and is back again for 2023. Inventors aged 30 and under are eligible to be nominated for this award, which is designed to highlight the younger generations shaping the world. To be eligible for the 2023 price, the inventor aged 30 or under must use technology to contribute to at least one of the 17 United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals. The winner will receive a prize of €20,000 to assist their ongoing work.
Any member of the public can nominate an inventor for the award, and nominations can be made via the nomination form available on the EPO website. Nominations in all categories must be made on or before Monday, 3 October 2022.
Written by: Lindsay Pike