A ceremony to celebrate one of the most prestigious and important European prizes for invention has taken place, and The Pirbright Institute’s Professor Luke Alphey was there as one of fifteen finalists recognised as one of Europe’s top innovators.
The European Inventor Award organised by the European Patent Office (EPO) celebrated its tenth anniversary. The event took place on 11 June at the Palais Brongniart, the historic Paris stock exchange.
The EPO received around 450 applications for the award, from which 15 finalists were selected to represent categories including: Industry, Small-to-Medium sized Enterprise, Research, Non-European Countries and Lifetime Achievement. The additional Popular Prize which was voted for by the general public received nearly 47,000 global votes.
Luke was a finalist in the research category for his cutting edge work on using genetically modified mosquitoes to control the infectious diseases they can carry. His pioneering work is an environmentally friendly way of controlling pest populations, reducing the damaging effects they can have on both animal and human health as well as on agriculture.
Hosted by the president of the EPO Benoit Battistelli, the awards ceremony was attended by more than 400 guests and leading contributors in the fields of science, politics and business. The annual event underlines Europe as a centre of innovation and a leading technological region and highlights innovators who have made significant contribution to social, technological and economic progress.
Professor John Fazakerley, Director of The Pirbright Institute said “The inventions, across all areas of science, showcased by the finalists selected for these awards were truly impressive and significant. I was delighted that Professor Alphey was a finalist and that the novel approach which he pioneered and translated from research concept to product trials across the world was recognised. The Institute has been controlling infectious diseases which threaten health, wealth and security in the UK and across the world for over 100 years. The use of genetically modified insects represents a 21st century solution that could reduce the heavy burden of debilitating and deadly infectious diseases including dengue fever which threatens billions of people globally and bluetongue which threatens our livestock and could provide new ways to control crop pests and secure our food supplies.”
For a full list of winners, and to view the award ceremony highlights visit the EPO website
To see Lukes videos go to
Luke Alphey, European Inventor Award 2015 Finalist
Award ceremony film, Luke Alphey, European Inventor Award 2015 Finalist