Sustainable cars, computers that “see” and efficient solar panels win awards from the European Patent Office

Sustainable cars, computers that “see” and efficient solar panels win awards from the European Patent Office

Mme Malinkiewicz a utilisé des cellules photovoltaïques à pérovskite, une alternative aux panneaux solaires traditionnels à base de silicium. Eloi_Omella/Getty Images

Italian, German and Polish researchers received the 'European Inventors of the Year' awards on Tuesday. 2024, awarded by the European Patent Office (EPO), which awarded innovations in the automotive, IT and energy industries.

German Cordelia Schmid, winner of the "Research" prize, is dedicated to helping computers and artificial intelligence better & quot;see" and thus "interpret complex visual data in real time".

Research director at the national research institute in digital sciences and technologies (Inria), she particularly wants to enable autonomous vehicles to avoid road accidents or enable robots to ;help the elderly or detect falls.

"Humans have no difficulty recognizing objects, for a computer, it's a very difficult task. complex, which requires a lot of annotated data", she underlines in a video posted online by the EPO.

His work makes it possible to "guide artificial intelligence (AI) beyond the recognition of basic objects, towards greater sophistication, such as understanding the context of visual scenes, interpreting human actions", summarizes the EPO.

Making automobile production more sustainable by improving the energy efficiency of assembly lines: this is the goal sought by the Italian Fiorenzo Dioni and his German colleague Richard Oberle, winners of the & quot;Industrie", with their "Giga Presse".

Designed in the Lombardy province of Brescia, this giant press makes it possible to manufacture very large format aluminum parts and therefore reduce the number of components in the assembly of' #39;a car.

Objective: simplify the construction and limit the costs of electric vehicles, and also reduce the quantity of CO2 produced by factories.

Producing paper with dead leaves

To run these electric vehicles, the increase in energy production will notably involve renewables, including solar: Polish researcher Olga Malinkiewicz and her team were awarded the "PME& ;quot; for their work aimed at designing more efficient solar panels and therefore producing more electricity.

Ms. Malinkiewicz used perovskite photovoltaic cells, an alternative to traditional silicon-based solar panels.

In the category of researchers not members of the EPO, the Japanese Masato Sagawa was distinguished for the development of a new type of magnet, in iron and more powerful.

Besides their power, these neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets are also touted as "cheaper" and consume less rare metals. They equip laptop hard drives, but also electric vehicles and wind turbines.

As for the next generation, the young inventor of the year prize was awarded to an inventor, the Dutch Rochelle Niemeijer, 29, who developed a screening kit portable to quickly diagnose bacterial infections and provide optimal care for populations far from hospitals.

Among the other representatives of young scientists awarded this year, the Ukrainian Valentyn Frechka, 23, has developed a process for producing paper from dead leaves, to limit the deforestation.

A team of four young Tunisian inventors, Khaoula Ben Ahmed, Ghofrane Ayari, Souleima Ben Temime and Sirine Ayari, complete the podium of young prize-winners with an interface offering different control modes for wheelchairs, and thus facilitating mobility of severely disabled people.

Finally, the "Lifetime Work" was awarded to British chemist Dame Carol Robinson for her body of work in mass spectrometry, which has transformed our understanding of proteins in their natural environment and has paved the way for advances in drug discovery and personalized medicine", says the EPO.

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