The inventors of products ranging from kitchen drawers that close silently to hi-tech cancer-killing nano capsules were among those honoured at the European Inventor Awards on Tuesday.
Austrians Claus Haemmerle and Klaus Bruestle won the Industry category prize for their now ubiquitous damper system that allows drawers and cupboards around the world to close smoothly and silently.
Judges, including experts from business, politics, media, academia and research, chose winners from 15 finalists in five categories.
Belgian-born Frenchman Patrick Couvreur and his team from the University of Paris-Sud won the Research prize for nano-capsules that allow for less aggressive but more effective forms of targeted cancer therapy.
The tiny capsules are just one seventieth of the size of red blood cells and travel to the actual site of diseased cells to release their payload.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Swiss physicist Martin Schadt, known as the “father of the pixel”, who first applied to patent Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) in 1970.
The annual event is organised by the European Patent Office (EPO), whose president Benoit Battistelli said the LCD “exemplifies the importance of patience, circumspection and long-term investment for the development of cutting-edge technology”.
In 2012, sales of LCD devices amounted to $120 billion, the EPO said.
“This breakthrough could not have been foreseen in the 1970s,” Schadt said.
“A mountain of technical and scientific difficulties first had to be overcome.”
Swedish professor Pal Nyren won in the small and medium enterprise category for a technique that has dramatically slashed the time and cost needed for DNA sequencing known as pyrosequencing.
Read more at: Phys.org