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European Inventor Award, 2017
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1.

Sylviane Muller (FR): Treating Lupus by Targeting T-Cells

The invention by French immunologist Sylviane Muller and her team at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris enables a new treatment approach for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an incurable autoimmune disease. Instead of suppressing the immune system in its entirety, the drug marketed as Lupuzor specifically targets so-called T-cells associated with lupus symptoms. The mechanism behind Muller’s invention could also be leveraged in drugs against other illnesses – both autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases.
Online
2017
2.

Laurent Lesterquit (FR), Lionel Ries (FR-BE), Jean-Luc Issler (FR), Guenter W. Hein (de), Jose-Angel Avila-Rodriguez (ES): Radio Signals for Better Satellite Navigation

Laurent Lestarquit and his international team designed and patented two primary signal innovations for the European GALILEO global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Their signalling technology helps ensure the high accuracy of GALILEO, while saving energy and assuring navigational compatibility and/or interoperability with the US GPS and the Russian GLONASS worldwide GNSS systems. The team's developments also allow the use of legacy and lower end receivers along with the latest high-end satellite navigational devices.
Online
2017
3.

Giuseppe Remuzzi, Ariela Benigni, Carla Zoja (IT): Treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease

Before Remuzzi's discovery of ACE inhibitors to treat Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), kidney failure and lifelong dependence on dialysis were inevitable for many patients. In the early 1980s, Remuzzi began investigating the root causes of kidney disease and kidney failure. He noticed declining glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a measure of the kidney's ability to cleanse the blood, as a major indicator, and realized: stopping the decline in GFR would stop CKD in its tracks.
Online
2017
4.

Günther Hufschmid (de): Super Sponge for Oil Spills

The innovation of Günter Hufschmid at the German firm Deurex is a synthetic wax that, when heated under pressure, turns into a light, spongy material that can adsorb about seven times its own weight's worth of oil, chemicals, or other hydrophobic liquids. The invention is a radical improvement to existing "spill management" technologies, which soak up fewer contaminants less quickly and often leave behind residues. It is also more economical to produce.
Online
2017
5.

Stephen Lindsey (UK): Energy-Saving Rotary Air Compressor

British chemist and inventor Steve Lindsey has developed the Blade Compressor, an air compressor that offers significant improvements in efficiency and energy consumption across a range of applications. Air compressors are found in many industries: from large machines used in water treatment and manufacturing to smaller ones in air conditioners or refrigerators. In total, they make up 10% of Europe's industrial electricity consumption.
Online
2017
6.

Axel Ullrich (de): Stopping Cancer at the Root

German molecular biologist Axel Ullrich broadened the scientific understanding of the genetic causes of cancer and other diseases. The 73-year-old made landmark contributions to the field of genetics and also pioneered novel treatments, including growth-inhibiting drugs for breast, intestinal, and kidney cancer. He made history with the discovery of the HER2/neu oncogene responsible for gene-related breast cancer. Ullrich also developed the anti-cancer drug Herceptin to stop this particular form of cancer.
Online
2017
7.

Adnane Remmal (MA): Boosting Antibiotics With Essential Oils

The rise of multi-drug-resistant bacteria is a rapidly growing global problem. The World Health Organization, NGOs, and a number of governments around the world acknowledge the increasing severity of the problem, and have made it a top priority on the public health agenda. Remmal has developed a new drug able to fight multi-resistant bacteria using standard antibiotics with “boosting” agents that increase their efficacy.
Online
2017
8.

James G. Fujimoto (US): High Resolution Medical Imaging

US scientist James Fujimoto has been a pioneer of optical coherence tomography (OCT) since the 1990s, and together with US engineer and entrepreneur Eric Swanson and German physicist Robert Huber, he has been key in developing and applying the next generation of medical imaging technology. The patented technology relies on light to create real time, high resolution images of human tissue in vivo for the diagnosis of blinding eye diseases, deadly heart disease, and cancer, avoiding the tissue removal necessary for biopsies.
Online
2017
9.

Lars Gustaf Liljeryd (SE): Digital Audio Compression

Spectral Band Replication (SBR) is a novel method for compressing digital audio files making it possible for millions of people around the world to enjoy either higher quality sound or higher compression easily and affordably. SBR was conceived by the Swedish inventor Lars Liljeryd and turned into a real-world application by a team of engineers that included Kristofer Kjörling, Per Ekstrand and Fredrik Henn. Liljeryd’s ideas revolutionized an entire industry. He improved upon existing coding formats that raised the bar for digital audio compression to levels never thought possible. SBR enhanced existing audio compression techniques that many experts believed had already reached their full potential, notably MP3 and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC).
Online
2017
10.

Elmar Mock (CH): Swatch, Ultrasound Welding and More

Elmar Mock is best known for his co-invention of the bestselling Swatch wristwatch, which revolutionized watchmaking, and revitalized the Swiss watch industry. However, the plastic welding techniques that the inventor first employed on the Swatch also became the building blocks of an entire "innovation factory" – Mock's company Creaholic – that churns out novel inventions by the hundreds. To date, Creaholic has completed over 800 projects, founded several start-up companies and generated more than 200 patent families.
Online
2017
11.

Waleed Hassanein (Egypt/US): Sustaining Transplant Organs

The patented invention by Georgetown University Medical School–educated heart surgeon Waleed Hassanein is a new system to keep donor organs alive and functioning outside the human body before they reach transplant recipients (heart is beating, lungs are breathing, liver producing bile, and kidneys are making urine). In clinical practice, the Organ Care System (OCS) has been used successfully to preserve and transport a human heart for up to 11 hours, nearly triple the time possible with cold storage.
Online
2017
12.

Rino Rappuoli (IT): Novel Vaccines by Gene Analysis

Nominated for the European Inventor Award in the Lifetime Achievement category, 65-year-old Rino Rappuoli is an Italian microbiologist who pioneered numerous life-saving immunizations and advanced laboratory techniques for their manufacture. Considered an international authority in the field of vaccines, Rappuoli is credited as one of the co-founders of cellular microbiology – the intersection of cell biology and microbiology – and pioneered novel techniques that became state of the art in genetic research and vaccine design.
Online
2017
13.

Gert-Jan Gruter (NL): Plant-Based Plastic Bottles

Gert-Jan Gruter and his team at Avantium have developed a revolutionary chemical process for converting plant-based sugars into the new building block Furandicarboxylic Acid (FDCA). FDCA can be used to produce a wide range of renewable plant-based materials, but the most exciting application is a polyester known as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). It has several properties that will allow PEF to replace aluminium, glass, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from petrochemicals.
Online
2017
14.

Hans Clevers (NL): Lab-Grown Human Organs

Together with his team at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Dutch molecular geneticist Hans Clevers developed the world's first "intestinoids" for testing drugs on active human intestinal tissue. Since then, he adapted this technology for multiple additional human tissues. The advantages of the invention are twofold: First, intestinoids allow care providers to test even aggressive courses of treatment without hurting the patient. Second, the intestinoids allow for a "personalised medicine" approach to treatment, as they are uniquely matched to the genetic make up of one patient only.
Online
2017
15.

Jan van den Boogaart (NL), Oliver Hayden (de): Rapid Blood Test for Malaria

An automated, computer-based test for malaria infection was invented by haematologist Jan van den Boogaart at Siemens Healthineers in The Hague and biochemist Oliver Hayden at Siemens Healthineers in Erlangen. The system relies on an ingenious principle: instead of detecting the presence of actual malaria pathogens in blood samples – a complicated task, especially when the disease is in its early stages – the invention detects the destructive effects of the plasmodium parasite (which causes malaria).
Online
2017