European Inventor Award 2023: DPMA President congratulates LiFi pioneer Harald Haas on being selected as a finalist

Professor Haas with experimental setup

High-speed transmission of data through light: German electrical engineer Harald Haas has been selected as a finalist in the “Research” category of the European Inventor Award for his LiFi (Light Fidelity) technology – DPMA President: New technology could have enormous potential

Press release of 9 May 2023

Munich. The President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, Eva Schewior, warmly congratulates electrical engineer Harald Haas on being selected as a finalist in the “Research” category of the European Inventor Award. “The development of the LiFi technology is outstanding spadework. Professor Harald Haas has introduced a light-based data transmission technology that, in addition to established transmission technologies, can have enormous potential,” the DPMA President said, adding: “I am very pleased that Professor Haas has laid the foundations for this ground-breaking technology in Germany.”

LiFi technology uses LED lights to transmit data at very high speed – theoretically up to 100 times faster than through current radio transmission systems such as WiFi and mobile communications. This means that LiFi can help handle the substantially increased amount of data through the increasingly strong interconnection of technical devices (Internet of things, IoT). Another advantage is that, as light does not pass through walls, data is only received in areas lit by the “data light”. Thanks to this technology, data transmission will be more secure, cause fewer disruptions and be less interference-prone itself.

Harald Haas studied in Nuremberg and received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Subsequently, he worked in the R&D department of Siemens in Munich and, as early as from the 2000s onwards, was a co-inventor of patents. In 2002, he became an associate professor of electrical engineering at Jacobs University in Bremen. Later, he returned to Scotland. Since 2012, he has been a professor at the University of Edinburgh.

The European Inventor Award is presented once a year by the European Patent Office (EPO). In each of the five categories (Industry, Research, Non-EPO Countries, SMEs and Lifetime Achievement), three finalists are selected, one person or team of whom will be recognised. Information on all 2023 finalists is available on the externer Link EPO website. This year’s ceremony will take place on July 4th and be broadcast via livestream.

Popular Prize 2023: Vote for your favourite inventor!

Twelve inventors or inventor teams from around the world have been nominated for this year’s Popular Prize. Here, the public alone will decide who deserves this recognition. All inventors standing for election and their innovations will be presented on the website of the European Patent Office.

Votes in the Popular Prize category can be cast online on the externer Link dedicated EPO website. The end of the voting will take place during the ceremony on 4 July 2023, after the announcement of the winners of the Young Inventors Prize. The votes will be counted on 4 July 2023, the day on which the winner will be announced at the online European Inventor Award ceremony.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of approximately 2,800 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services to inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international protection systems further.

Picture: European Patent Office

Last updated: 9 May 2023