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May, 2006 - Nr. 5


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German physicist named European Inventor of the Year

  TWIG - For his work expanding the data storage capacity of hard drives, German physicist Peter Gruenberg has been named Europe’s Inventor of the Year.

Gruenberg’s invention of the Giant Magnetoresistance Effect vastly increased the data volume stored by hard drives. The technology is used in computers and mobile entertainment devices, such as MP3 players and video recorders.

Gruenberg patented the idea in 1994 and was awarded the German Future Prize for his invention four years later. Today, more than 90% of all hard drives use Gruenberg’s technology.

The award, bestowed by the European Commission for the first time ever, honors European inventors in categories including industry, small and medium-sized businesses, universities and research institutions, new EU member states, non-European countries, and lifetime achievement.

Gruenberg won in the category of universities and research institutions, having completed his research at the Juelich Research Center.

Patents competing for the award, which carries no monetary prize, were registered between 1991 and 2000.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


European Inventor of the Year


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