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And it is the European Commission that says so :

Bioplastics, football-shaped molecules, GPS technology, hydrogen fuels cells and three-dimensional scanning systems – the fields covered by the winners of the European Inventor Award 2010 range from ecology and nuclear physics to information systems and satellite-based navigation. The European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Commission today honoured the five prizewinners from Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Canada at a gala ceremony in Madrid under the presence of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias. […]

Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policy said: “The ‘European Inventor of the Year awards’ highlight that Europe continues to be leading in providing breakthrough inventions. These are striking examples how technical innovation and marketing strategies can successfully interact for the benefit of the economy. Moreover the lives of millions of people around the world have been improved again.” […]

The awards, which are purely symbolic and involve no material recompense, honour inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contributes to progress and prosperity.

Source: Midday Express (European Commission)

One should trust Commissioner Antonio Tajani, the man who recently declared tourism a human right. And I guess the royal gala dinner was also “symbolically” paid by EU taxpayers.

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