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News article18 June 20211 min read

And the winner is: EPO celebrates European Inventor Award 2021

In a completely digital - but nonetheless festive - ceremony on 17 June, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced the winners of this year's European Inventor Award 2021.

Launched by the EPO in 2006 and now in its 15th year, the award is unique among innovation prizes in that it honours inventors not only for their scientific or technological breakthroughs, but also for the impact that their patented invention has had on society and the economy.

The winners were selected in five categories (Industry, Research, SMEs, Non-EPO countries, and Lifetime achievement) by an independent, international jury. The public was also invited to vote for their favourite inventor from among the 15 finalists in the Popular Prize.

The winners of the European Inventor Award 2021 are:

  • Industry 

Per Gisle Djupesland (Norway) - Better nasal drug delivery

  • Research 

Robert N. Grass and Wendelin Stark (Austria/Switzerland) -DNA-based data storage

  • Non-EPO countries  

Sumita Mitra (India/USA)- Restoring smiles with nanomaterials

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)  

Henrik Lindström and Giovanni Fili (Sweden)- Flexible solar cells for portable devices

  • Lifetime achievement  

Karl Leo (Germany) -Advances in organic semiconductors

  • Popular Prize 

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic (Serbia/USA)- Advances in tissue engineering

Explore the stories of these outstanding inventors, who have been 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.

In case you missed the ceremony, you can also watch the full recording on the EPO's website.


Publication date
18 June 2021