DNA data storage innovators Robert Grass and Wendelin Stark receive European Inventor Award 2021

21.06.2021 | Patents

The European Patent Office (EPO) today honoured Austrian and Swiss researchers Robert N. Grass and Wendelin Stark with the European Inventor Award 2021 in the «Research» category. Their technology for encapsulating data in DNA inside tiny glass spheres provides a novel means of preserving information, as well as a robust DNA barcode for use in supply chains.

«Grass and Stark’s remarkable cross-disciplinary research has led to an invention that has the potential to reshape our approach to long-term data storage,» says EPO President António Campinos. «With digitalisation transforming almost every aspect of society, this innovation represents a leap forward in terms of improving the durability of the information we produce and holds promise for applications in a vast range of products.»


Award was held digitally for the first time


This year’s European Inventor Award ceremony was held digitally, and for the first time was open to the public who tuned in from around the world. The Award, one of Europe’s most prestigious innovation prizes,  is presented annually by the EPO to distinguish outstanding inventors from Europe and beyond who have made an exceptional contribution to society, technological progress and economic growth. The finalists and winners in five categories (Industry, Research, SMEs, Non-EPO countries and Lifetime achievement) were selected by an independent international jury.