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European Patent Office -- Winners of the European Inventor Award 2010 Honoured in Madrid

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brussels & Munich -- The European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Commission today honoured the winners of the European Inventor Award 2010 at a gala ceremony in Madrid under the presidency of their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias:

  • Wolfgang Krätschmer (Germany), who discovered a whole new field of research in physics, for which he has been honoured in the Lifetime achievement category. He devised a process for producing fullerenes (a new class of carbon molecules) for research purposes, laying the foundations for the creation of new materials.
  • Jürgen Pfitzer and Helmut Nägele (Germany), in the SMEs/research category. With their Arboform liquid wood they made a breakthrough in the sustainable use of renewable resources. Demand for Arboform is especially high in the car industry, where with its wood-like appearance it opens up new prospects in interior design. It is also used in furniture, toys and watches.
  • Albert Markendorf (Switzerland) and Raimund Loser (Germany), in the Industry category. Their 3D scanning and measuring system opened up a new level of accuracy in industrial measuring systems and revolutionised the field. Railway companies and aircraft manufacturers too now use this scanning technique.
  • Sanjai Kohli and Steven Chen (USA), in the Non-European countries category. Thanks to their work, GPS systems can now also be used commercially and are a part of our everyday lives. Their technology triggered off explosive growth in the market for GPS devices and their use in cars, planes, ships and mobile phones.
  • Ben Wiens and Danny Epps, two Canadians who developed electrochemical fuel cells which are now a commercially successful alternative to fossil fuels, for which they too have been honoured in the Non-European countries category. Since 2004 buses with a hydrogen fuel cell drive have been running in 15 cities around the world using their technology, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Madrid and twenty of them were in service at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

To find out more about the European Inventor Award 2010 and the winners, go to:

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