The European Patent Office (EPO) announced that engineers Alexander van der Lely, CEO, and Karel van den Berg, Director Innovations, have been nominated for the European Inventor Award 2019.
Both are finalists in the category 'Industry' for their fully automated milking system, Astronaut, that benefits animals and farmers.
Alexander van der Lely, CEO (right), and Karel van den Berg, Director Innovations, have been nominated for the European Inventor Award 2019. Photo: Heinz Troll
The winners of the 2019 edition of the EPO’s annual innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony in Vienna on 20 June. “The system developed by 2 Dutch inventors demonstrates how high-tech advances can sustainably assist the agricultural sector,” said EPO President António Campinos about the nomination “And they have enhanced market uptake by licensing their technology, building a company that is competitive on a global stage.”
Innovating (for) agribusiness
In 1985, Karel van den Berg and his team of engineers began developing the robotic milking system. One year later, Alexander van der Lely’s father filed patent applications for the first 2 milking inventions, one of which is still in use in the current system. Today, the company is a pioneer in the robotic milking: Alexander van der Lely has been named as an inventor on 47 European patents for advances in milking and agricultural automation, and over his 35-year career, van den Berg has been named as an inventor on 267 European patents, many of which have equivalents in other territories too.