EPO Innovation Contest winners announced
Launched earlier this year, the competition asked students to define a research project of potential interest for future R&D.
The winners in the five categories are:
- Javier García Lomillo and Raquel del Pino García from the University of Burgos in Spain, for their project describing the properties and manufacturing process for a salt substitute derived from grape pomace, a by-product of the wine industry (category "sustainable food production"),
- Joana Tarrés Font from the University of Luxembourg, for her project on heat recovery in a steel production process using solar technology (category "eco-friendly energy production and storage"),
- Ivan Kovač, Marija Kovač, Ivana Ćurković and Goran Miljić from the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek in Croatia, for a project on the design and contruction of a horizontal bioreactor that uses micro‑organisms to break down lignocellulosic waste produced by raw materials used in the food industry. The resulting product could be used to make bio-ethanol, enzymes, antibiotics or animal feed (category "waste management, recycling and urban mining"),
- Jorge Bandeira from the University of Aveiro in Portugal, for his project on a framework for assessing eco-routing and traffic management strategies aimed at minimising energy consumption and exposure to pollutants and traffic noise (category "smart transport and traffic management systems"), and
- Clément Chabanas from the École Normale Supérieure in Cachan, France, for his project on a smart thermostat to control heating in low-energy housing, reducing energy consumption by offering a second control loop for the heating based on the temperature measured inside the walls of the house, rather than its interior (category "smart house technology").
Francis Gurry, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), who introduced the award, called the winners "the faces of innovation in the future".
The national IP offices in 23 member states selected a single contestant or team for each category. Sixty-four individuals and teams entered the competition and 39 submitted final projects to a jury made up of representatives of the EPO, national offices, the epi, academia and business, which chose the winners.