Innovators From Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and US win European Inventor Award 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011 General News J E 4

MUNICH, BRUSSELS and BUDAPEST, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Patent Office, the Hungarian EU Council Presidency and the European Commission awarded Europe's most prestigious innovation prize at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest today.

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The winners are:

- Lifetime Achievement: Per-Ingvar Branemark (Sweden). He is the pioneer of osseointegration, now a widely practised medical method based on titanium implants, which creates a stable connection between the implant and bone. Today it is a standard technique among dentists and is widely used in reconstructive surgery.

- Industry: Ann Lambrechts, Bekaert (Belgium). Lambrechts' invention has opened up a world of new architectural possibilities by improving the bending strength of reinforced concrete structures. The steel fibre elements she developed greatly increase the tensile strength of concrete, reduce construction time and have enabled many spectacular new structures such as the Gotthard tunnel.

- SMEs: Jens Dall Bentzen, Dall Energy Aps (Denmark). His special low-emission furnace burns biofuels with a moisture content of up to 60% and is therefore ideal for eco-friendly, highly efficient and hence inexpensive power generation from biomass in factories and production plants.

- Research: Christine Van Broeckhoven, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (Belgium). Her pioneering method for identifying disease genes in Alzheimer's sufferers paved the way for the development of modern drugs and treatments to combat the disease. Each of the genes and proteins that Broeckhoven has identified acts as a potential "target" for treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

- Non-European countries: Ashok Gadgil, Vikas Garud, University of California/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, WaterHealth International (USA/India). Their water purification device requires only a 40 watt UV light bulb to disinfect 1 000 litres of water per hour. It has been installed in more than ten countries worldwide, delivering clean water to over two million people.

    Oswald Schroder
    European Patent Office
    Erhardtstr. 27 | D-80469 Munich
    Tel: +49(0)89-2399-1800
    Fax: +49(0)89-2399-2850

SOURCE The European Patent Office (EPO)



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