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Young Inventors Prize

Winners of the Young Inventors Prize 2022

The Young Inventors Prize cast a spotlight on three ground-breaking initiatives and highlighted the power of younger generations in shaping our world. Thanks to these inventors, we have technology that enables earlier disease detection, an initiative to encourage recycling, and products to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged groups.

Nominations for the European Inventor Award 2024 are now open. Submit your entry online via the nomination platform.

Sustainability in focus

United Nations Sustainability Development Goals

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations, ranging from climate action and sustainable cities to quality education and zero hunger. The EPO wants to acknowledge young innovators who use technology to develop solutions that will help reach these goals and positively impact our live for a better future.

Who can make a proposal?

Any member of the public may propose candidates or themselves for the Young Inventors Prize.

What are the requirements?

The Young Inventors Prize is open to any individual or group worldwide with a maximum age of 30 at the time of the award. You can propose any idea, project or product in any field of technology. Each proposal must be accompanied by supporting information that is already in the public domain, for example, granted intellectual property rights, published scientific papers, case studies or audio-visual material. The initiative must aim at using a technical solution to solve a problem within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To learn more, please read the eligibility rules and conditions.

How will the proposals be evaluated?

Each proposal will be checked by an EPO multi-disciplinary panel of experts before a shortlist is sent to the independent jury of the European Inventor Award, who will select three finalists, including one winner.

The jury will consider the following hierarchy when evaluating the supportive documentation submitted with the nominated initiatives (listed in order of descending importance):

During evaluation, the independent jury will prioritize initiatives supported with IP documentation (such as patents) over those with scientific publications (such as papers), and initiatives supported with scientific publications over those with any other kind of written or audio-visual material (for instance, business plans, videos or websites).

When is the deadline for proposals?

Proposals for the 2023 Young Inventors Prize are now closed but you can already propose candidates for 2024. The deadline for proposals is beginning of October.

Are there any prizes?

The winner will be revealed at the European Inventor Award ceremony. A cash incentive will be made available to support young or early-career innovators to help them advance their work. The winner will receive a cash prize of EUR 20 000, the second and third placed finalists will receive EUR 10 000 and EUR 5 000 respectively.

Please note that the Young Inventors Prize acknowledges and rewards the work done by younger generations in the field of sustainability, but it does not in any case constitute a statement of patentability. The pursuit of a patent application runs under the provisions of the EPC and is to be assessed independently by examining and opposition divisions. Hence, a selection for the Young Inventors Prize which is done by an independent international jury has no bearing on the patent granting or opposition processes. No claims, rights or expectations may be derived from participation in the Young Inventors Prize, or from any form of acknowledgment or reward in connection with the Young Inventors Prize.