Ten years of celebrating the spirit of invention
This year marks the 10th anniversary of honouring inventors for how their work has improved our lives. On 11th June, the European Inventor Award takes place in Paris, city of light and bright ideas, in recognition of outstanding contributions to medical, technological and social progress.
Over the past decade, the EPO awards have ensured over 120 remarkable inventors have had their well-deserved time in the spotlight. Behind every major leap forward is the tireless effort of individuals and teams with remarkable passion and dedication, often working against the tide. The EPO wants to highlight these unsung heroes, not just to thank them, but also to illustrate just how far-reaching the impact of innovation can be for making a difference in people’s lives.
Finalists for this year’s awards come from all parts of the globe, with contenders from Australia, China, France, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Their work, whether done in a university lab, a large R&D department, a small company, or an individual work bench, has had wide-reaching consequences for people all around the world. This year’s finalists have impacted the present and future course of telecommunications, medicine, architecture, energy and the environment.
About the Trophy
Each year the winners of the European Inventor Award are presented with a trophy in the shape of a sail. An enduring symbol of exploration and human ingenuity, the sail recalls how an inventive idea can propel humankind to uncharted shores. Conceived by German industrial designer Miriam Irle, the trophy is crafted with new materials every year, highlighting the ever-changing nature of innovation.
For 2015 the trophy has been made using the latest of manufacturing technologies: 3D printing. Invented by 2014 Award Winner Chuck Hull, 3D printing has revolutionised rapid prototyping and small volume production of specialised parts and products in many materials across all industries, including automotive, aerospace and medical implants and devices. Thanks to the limitless possibilities of 3D printing, the trophy this year takes its inspiration from the Eiffel Tower, itself a product of French entrepreneurship and innovation. Finished in bronze, the laser sintered trophy features interwoven horizontal, diagonal and vertical beams, just like Paris’s most distinctive landmark.