Last week the European Patent Office (EPO) presented the European Inventor Awards 2014 during a ceremony in Berlin, that was attended by some 500 guests from the fields of business, science, culture and politics, including German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maasto.
TX Active, the photocatalytic technology developed in the Group laboratories by Italcementi research team originally headed by Professor Luigi Cassar, won the second place at the Popular Prize, the award that goes to the inventor obtaining the greater number of online votes. The Japanese Masahiro Hara and his team were awarded the first Popular Prize thanks to the invention of the QR code, the black-and-white squares found everywhere from billboards to product packaging, that have completely changed our concept of bar codes, connecting the physical and the virtual world.
On the other hand, the winners of the 5 other categories - Lifetime achievement, Industry, Small and medium-sized enterprises, Research and Non-European countries - chosen by the technical jury were announced.The “Oscar” for technological innovation in the Industry category, the same for which TX Active was running, went to the team of Belgian researcher Koen Andries and his French colleague Jérôme Guillemont who invented a new, effective drug to fight tuberculosis. They succeeded in significantly reducing treatment times for this disease and achieving a complete cure within a reasonable period of time.
During the award ceremony EPO President Benoît Battistelli highlighted the strategic role of innovation to generate growth and prosperity. "All of the inventors we are honouring here today” - he said – “have introduced game-changing technological innovations in their respective fields. Their achievements improve people's everyday lives, and represent substantial contributions to tackling major global challenges such as climate change, access to clean drinking water and improving health".
"The nomination for the European Inventor Award 2014" explained Carlo Pesenti, Chief Executive Officer of Italcementi Group, "shines a spotlight on Italcementi research's pivotal role in the development of innovative building materials. In addition to TX Active, this can be seen in products like the transparent cement developed for the Italian Pavilion at the Expo in Shanghai and the biodynamic cement which will be used for the iconic Italian Pavilion at Expo 2015. These extraordinary materials have been made possible through significant investments in research and a vision for the future of a sector increasingly focused on products that blend the reliability and durability of traditional cement with innovative environmental and architectural performance. Our researchers at i.lab, Italcementi Research and Innovation Centre, work daily on new products and applications to provide excellent solutions for the building community – turnover from which now accounts for more than 5% of total Group sales and is a significant contributing factor in our operating results."
Click here to discover the winners of all the categories and many other information.
Press release EIA Project factsheet EIA brochure
Video: TX Active finalist all'European Inventor Award
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