The EPO European Inventor Awards have been recently bestowed on a number of recipients in Venice, Italy.
The winners of the industry award were Jan van den Boogaart and Oliver Hayden, who have developed a fast and accurate method to diagnose malaria, a key resource in tackling the disease that causes so many economic and public health problems.
German chemist Günter Hufschmid won the SME’s prize as a result of his development of a remarkable binding agent known as ‘Pure’. The discovery came by chance as a colleague had left a machine running overnight, with the result that, the next morning, the entire factory floor was covered in a white, cotton-like substance. The chemist looked for a use for substance and found it to be highly absorbent. It can also be wrung out and used again immediately, and constitutes a major advancement in oil and chemical spill clean-up technology.
The popular prize went to Adnane Remmal, a Moroccan biology professor who has developed a method to enhance antibiotics using essential oils, an exciting discovery as bacteria become increasingly resistant to drugs.
US engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson, and German physicist Robert Huber have been awarded the NON-EPO Countries Award for the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT). This constitutes the first technology to deliver real-time images of human tissue in microscopic clarity to help diagnose cancer, glaucoma and heart disease without the need for invasive, probing or surgical biopsies.
The lifetime achievement award went to Italian Rino Rappuoli for his work in vaccination, and a team of researchers that is developing Galileo into the most precise global satellite navigation system, claimed the research award.