Nominations for European Inventor Award 2010 announced

8 Mar 2010

From the Wii console to the conservation of drinking water to ‘green’ plastic and the ability to access the internet straight from a wall socket, the nominees for the European Inventor Award 2010 have been announced today.

The awards are comprised of four categories covering industry, SMEs/research, lifetime achievement and non-European countries and 12 candidates from nine countries have been nominated this year.

The awards honour individual inventors, or teams of inventors, who through their pioneering work are responding to the challenges of our time.

“The nominees underline the richness of the human imagination. Their inventions mean a lot for mankind and for shaping our modern world, yet their innovatory spirit also helps to create jobs in Europe and strengthen its competitiveness. The Europe 2020 strategy, just adopted by the European Commission, indeed stresses the need for a more innovative Europe. In this light, I hope these inventors encourage others to follow their paths,” said European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani.

The four winners will be chosen by an international jury and announced at a ceremony in Madrid on 28 April 2010.

The prize is purely symbolic and carries no material reward.

Previous winners include Adolf Goetzberger, the father of solar-power generation (2009), Peter Grünberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics (2006), AIDS researcher Erik De Clercq (2008) and Federico Faggin, the inventor of the microprocessor (2006).

The shortlist for the European Inventor Award 2010:


  • Inventor: Hermann Grether, Christoph Weis (DE); Invention: The Perlator, a jet regulator for water taps, provides an effective means of saving precious drinking water.
  • Inventor: Albert Markendorf, Dr Raimund Loser (CH); Invention: Three-dimensional laser-controlled measuring system for quality control in the automotive and aerospace industry with maximum-precision metrology.
  • Inventor: Benedetto Vigna (IT); Invention: Three-dimensional motion sensor for use in wireless controllers like the motion-control sensor of the Nintendo Wii.


  • Inventor: Jürgen Pfizer, Helmut Nägele (DE); Invention: Arboform, the “green” alternative to plastic; this natural polymer is currently used around the world in the manufacture of car parts, children’s toys, furniture and much more.
  • Inventor: Albert Ge let, Jean-Yves Chapelon, Dominique Cathignol, Emmanuel Blanc (FR); Invention: Ultrasound treatment is now an integral part of a highly effective device for fighting prostate cancer.
  • Inventor: Jorge Blasco (ES); Invention: Data transmission over power lines for fast internet access straight from the wall socket.

Lifetime achievement

  • Inventor: Peter Landrock (DK); Lifetime achievement: Many of the encryption methods used today for the digital transmission of confidential data are based on Landrock’s pioneering work.
  • Inventor: Wolfgang Krätschmer (DE); Lifetime achievement: Krätschmer’s procedure for synthesising C60 carbon molecules (fullerenes) helps to develop new lubricants and fuels, electronic superconductors and polymers designed for data storage.
  • Inventor: Desiré Collen (BE); Lifetime achievement: Collen’s findings in the field of blood clots broke new ground in medication for strokes and heart attacks.

Non-European countries

  • Inventor: Sanjai Kohli and his team (US); Invention: Thanks to their revolutionary receiver-chip design, GPS has successfully found its way onto the consumer market.
  • Inventor: Danny G. Epp, Ben Wiens (CA); Invention: Hydrogen fuel cells for many mobile applications, utilised today in many buses around the world.
  • Inventor: Napoleone Ferrara and his team (US); Invention: The cancer drug Avastin inhibits the growth of cancer cells and is the basis for a gentler, focused therapy.

Article courtesy of

Photo: The European Inventor Award 2010 ceremony will take place on 28 April in Madrid, Spain