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All the winners: European Inventor Award and Young Inventors Prize 2023

4 July 2023

EIA Winners 

The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced the winners of the European Inventor Award 2023. During a ceremony streamed from Valencia, the EPO revealed the winners in five Award categories and in the Young Inventors Prize. Of these six winners, three teams featured or were solely represented by women, reflecting an encouraging step towards equality in inventive careers. One additional winner was revealed in the Popular Prize, the only prize decided by public vote.

Viewers from around the globe joined Filomena Cautela as she took them on an exciting journey, showing how inventors and innovation touch lives. As the show drew to a close, the presenter from Portugal revealed Malta as the host country for the 2024 Award. If you missed the ceremony or would like to re-watch it, you can access the stream via the links below. 

The 2023 winners

Industry

Converting waste and residues into high-quality renewable solutions
Pia Bergström, Annika Malm, Jukka Myllyoja, Jukka-Pekka Pasanen and Blanka Toukoniitty (Finland) 

The team from the Finnish company Neste have been part of developing a unique technology that enables a wide variety of wastes and residues to be transformed into premium-quality renewable products, such as fuel.

Research

A safe and sustainable way to store hydrogen
Patricia de Rango, Daniel Fruchart, Albin Chaise, Michel Jehan, Nataliya Skryabina (France) 

The French team combined their expertise and interests to develop a method to store hydrogen more safely and sustainably with less energy. 

SMEs

Reducing noise with an advanced acoustic material
Rhona Togher, Eimear O’Carroll (Ireland)  

The Irish physicists developed a composite material to reduce noise pollution. The material is thin, lightweight and cost-effective, making it suitable for applications ranging from aerospace to automotive.

Non-EPO Countries

Li-ion batteries that lower fire and explosion risks (China) 
Kai Wu and team 

Together with his team, the inventor from China team has pioneered a series of features to improve the safety and performance of Li-ion batteries, helping the shift to cleaner motoring.

Lifetime Achievement

Molecular sieve catalysts to improve chemical reactions 
Avelino Corma Canós (Spain) 

The Spanish chemist is a pioneer in the field of catalysts. His legacy, however, is the Instituto de Tecnología Química de València, an institution he co-founded to drive chemistry research in energy, sustainability, health and water.

Young Inventors Prize

The most recent addition to the Award celebrates the work of inventors 30 and under, with finalists chosen for their contribution to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Unlike the categories above, a granted European patent is not a prerequisite and the winner receives €20 000. The second and third placed finalists receive € 10 000 and € 5 000 respectively.

Winner

Affordable light system to save both livestock and predators 
Richard Turere (Kenya) 

The young Maasai man developed Lion Lights™, an automated system that deters lions from attacking livestock in enclosures. His invention prevents human-wildlife conflict and is helping to boost the lion population in Kenya.

Second place

Accessible programming for visually impaired children 
Filipa de Sousa Rocha (Portugal) 

The computer engineer is on a mission to make digital learning more accessible to visually impaired children. Her work uses tangible objects to teach digital literacy through play, bringing a smile to the faces of young learners as they pick up skills such as computer programming.

Third place

Removing microplastics from water 
Fionn Ferreira (Ireland) 

The twenty-two-year-old environmentalist is tackling microplastics pollution with his magnet-based method, which extracts microplastics from water quickly, safely and without harm.

Popular Prize

A safe and sustainable way to store hydrogen

Patricia de Rango, Daniel Fruchart, Albin Chaise, Michel Jehan, Nataliya Skryabina
The Popular Prize is the only prize in which the winner is decided by a public vote. While it was a tightly contested race, the French team took home the trophy, having already won in the Research category.

The winners above may have left you feeling inspired about innovation, or maybe you know of an inventor whose ground-breaking work is worthy of a trophy. If you do, nominate them for the Award in 2024 via the links below.

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