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Two Austrians Chosen as Europe's Best Inventors

Patent Office President Mariana Karepova congratulated and presented the European Inventor Award to Klaus Feichtinger and Manfred Hackl in the Wiener Stadthalle.

An ingenious idea addressing the increasingly unmanageable problem of plastics proliferation and wastage convinced the jury of the European Inventor Award which was bestowed upon the winners in Vienna today. Together with Ambassador Helmut Tichy the President of the Austrian Patent Office, Mariana Karepova, presented the award to the winners in the category “Industry”, Klaus Feichtinger and Manfred Hackl. In the words of President Karepova “Since their machine works precisely the other way around they’ve been able to literally change the course of events. Their ingenious idea has made complete recycling of used plastics possible and has thus revolutionized synthetic material recycling.”

The award-winning technology involves processing synthetic waste materials into high-quality plastic pellets which in turn can be used as raw material for new products. This is a process aimed at waste minimization and continual reutilization of existing resources. In the initial phases of development there were problems with plastic fibers. The moment however the two inventors reversed the process everything functioned as envisaged!

Erema, the company the two inventors are associated with, delivers this technology to more than 108 countries worldwide. Back in 2015 researchers Feichtinger and Hackl already received the Austrian Patent Office’s Inventor Award for their brilliant invention.

The European Inventor Award is awarded annually in the categories “Industry”, “SMEs”, “Research”, “Non-European States” and “Lifetime Achievement”.  In the past, Austrian inventors were able to win this highly prestigious award more than once. Prior to Klaus Feichtinger and Manfred Hackl Oliver Hayden received an award for a blood test enabling the rapid diagnosis of malaria in 2017. Two years earlier, in 2015, Franz Amtmann was awarded a prize for his close range communication technology and two years before that, in 2013, Claus Hämmerle and Klaus Brüstle were the recipients of an award in honor of their dampers for hinges.

This year too an Austrian, Maximilian Haider, was nominated for the award in the category “Lifetime Achievement”. Maximilian Haider is responsible for the development of the globally very first corrective system in electron microscopy. Electron microscopes are amongst modern science and nanotechnology’s most important research tools. Haider’s invention is a kind of electromagnetic corrective lens for electron beams which provides for sharper images. So sharp in fact that it is possible to depict individual atoms! Ultimately, the award for “Lifetime Achievement” went to Magarita Salas Falgueras for her DNA propagation in genome analysis. The Spaniard was also able to take home the audience award trophy.


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