Meet the finalists
The European Inventor Award honours the individuals whose inventions impact our lives. Thanks to these pioneers, our world is becoming safer, smarter and more sustainable.
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The invention from researcher Laura van ‘t Veer and her team at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) empowers women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer to make informed decisions about whether or not to undergo chemotherapy after initial surgery.
Protective headgear that is both functional and fashionable is in high demand as the fuel economy and environmental benefits push more and more citizens to commute by bicycle. The “invisible” bike helmet developed by Swedish designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin is the stylish and safe accessories cyclists have been waiting for.
Tuberculosis continues to claim more than 2 million lives annually. Even worse, the bacteria causing the disease are becoming increasingly resistant to existing medications. Enter a new anti-TB drug invented by Belgian researcher Koen Andries and team, a highly effective compound named bedaquiline that cuts off the energy supply in tuberculosis bacteria.
Thanks to an invention from chemist Luigi Cassar, building exteriors can now not only stay cleaner longer but also help neutralise pollutants and improve air quality. Just a thin layer of an innovative cement coating combined with sunlight enables cleaner facades – and cleaner air in the cities that surround them.
What if implants such as pacemakers could receive their energy not from batteries but from the human body itself, preventing the risk and cost of replacement surgery? A team of French scientists successfully implanted a micro-device that generates electricity from the glucose in the blood of a mammal - a major step forward in the quest for a power source that can operate on its own and doesn't need to be recharged.
The 3G networks that first enabled true broadband mobile Internet access are now being superseded by LTE networks, which offer download and upload speeds many times greater than those achievable via decade-old 3G technology. A team of experts at Ericsson have contributed a significant number of patents to the development of LTE, powering the rise of the mobile Internet economy.
Sixty-five years ago, in 1949, Fischer received his first patent for the synchronised photo flash. A long list of inventions and patents followed: from cup holders and CD boxes to storage trays, ventilation nozzles – and even children’s toys.
Since a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum was scanned at an Ohio supermarket in 1974, the familiar black-and-white stripes of the most popular bar code type - the one-dimensional UPC - have become an integral part of modern life.
The married couple's invention consists of two components: an external processor that converts sound into electrical signals, and an internal implant that sends that information to the brain. The implant itself comprises a computer that receives information from the processor, and uniquely shaped electrodes that pass this information along.
3D printing, the additive-manufacturing technology Charles W. Hull developed, has made rapid prototyping possible and opened up new applications across countless industries. The technology could one day become one of the biggest advances in manufacturing since the industrial revolution.
The high-tech electronics industry has developed an unquenchable thirst for “ultrapure” water (UPW), but conventional water filtration methods prove highly energy consuming and unsustainable. Modelled on naturally occurring water-purifying proteins, so-called aquaporins, the water filters invented by Danish inventor Holme Jensen and his team provide an energy-efficient method for supplying ultrapure water on an industrial scale.
Exploring the brain allows us to better understand brain disorders, treat trauma, and train future medical doctors and neuroscientists. Wieslaw Nowinski's high-resolution, 3D brain atlases have revolutionised the world of brain mapping and have given us unprecedented insights into our most complex organ.
Today’s mobile devices allow users across the globe to communicate on-the-go and connect to the Internet. The compact size of these gadgets is made possible by tiny, highly powerful antennae based on the principles of fractal geometry. Invented by Catalan engineer Carles Puente Baliarda, fractal-based antennae have put global communications into the hands of millions.
Antibodies are used by our immune system to identify invaders and fight diseases. The American researchers Cary L. Queen and Harold E. Selick were able to "humanise" antibodies to contain at least 90% human components, making them radically more effective in warding off a variety of diseases including cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
Unravelling the complexities of the human genome was once an endeavour reserved for the scientific elite, but Christofer Toumazou’s invention – a USB stick that decodes a patient’s DNA within minutes – puts that unique ability at people’s fingertips.