The winners of the 2011 European Inventor Award were honored last week in a ceremony at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest. One recipient was Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who won the Lifetime Achievement award for his work in osseointegration, an implant technique based on titanium.
Brånemark, Professor Emeritus of the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, started developing the osseointegration method in the early 1960s, after he discovered that titanium is not rejected by the human body, but integrated into the surrounding bone tissue. Osseointegration is now a standard implant technique, most commonly used in dentistry.
The European Inventor Award is presented annually by the European Patent Office in cooperation with the European Commission and the country holding the EU Council presidency at the time. It launched in 2006. The awards are purely symbolic and involve no material recompense. Nomination proposals are submitted by the public and by patent examiners at the European Patent Office and Europe’s national patent offices. The winners are chosen by an international jury, which includes the European Parliament president.
This year’s winners were chosen among 15 nominees. Besides the Lifetime Achievement award, winners were awarded in four other categories. In the research category, Christine Van Broeckhoven from the University of Antwerp was awarded for her work in identifying disease genes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Other winners were awarded in the categories of industry, SMEs and Non-European countries. They included Ann Lambrechts, Belgium, awarded for improving the bending strength of reinforced concrete structures; Jens Dall Bentzen, Denmark, honored for developing a low-emission furnace; and Ashok Gadgil and Vikas Garud, USA/India, recognised for a water purification device.
Learn more about the awards on the EPO homepage in the press release “The European Inventor Award 2011…”Camilla Andersson