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CSIRO team behind WLAN wins European Inventor Award

The European Patent Office (EPO) has honoured Australia's Dr. John O’Sullivan, Dr. Terence Percival, Graham Daniels, Diethelm Ostry and John Deane with the European Inventor Award (EIA) in the “Non-European Countries” category for developing the solution for wireless networks, which now has become a gold standard in Wi-Fi technology.

The team of scientists from the CSIRO in Canberra is one of five laureates receiving Europe's highest distinction for international inventors awarded annually by the EPO. The EIA is presented in five categories: "Industry", "Research", "Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)", "Non-European countries", and "Lifetime achievement”.

Wi-Fi technology developed by Dr. John O’ Sullivan, Graham Daniels, Dr. Terence Percival, Diethelm Ostry and John Deane has significantly contributed to today’s mobile communications.

The technology created by the team increased the speed and robustness of wireless LAN with a comparable level of power to the cabled solutions of the time. Their technology is used today by almost all wireless LAN standards.

The European patent EP 0599632 was applied for already in 1993 and has been successfully commercialised since then, following a well-elaborated licensing strategy. The license fees contribute to the financing of other projects run by research teams at CSIRO. According to market experts, the number of WLAN Chips could reach 2 billion by 2015 and the prospects for further growth are excellent.

“The work completed by Dr. O’Sullivan and his team perfectly demonstrates how a publicly funded Research Centre can use patent protection and licensing revenue to finance further innovation,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli at the award ceremony.

“Few innovations have had such a great impact on our daily life as Wi-Fi. The EPO would like to congratulate the researchers from CSIRO for making fast wireless communication possible.”

The Danish Crown Prince and Princess, around 350 economic and political decision makers, researchers, scientists and intellectual property specialists attended the award ceremony at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen.

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