The CSIRO team that invented a new, faster wireless local area networking method, which went on to form the basis of modern Wi-Fi, has won the European Inventor Award 2012.


Inventors Dr John O’Sullivan, Dr Terry Percival, Mr Diet Ostry, Mr Graham Daniels and Mr John Deane were named as the winners of  the ‘Non-European countries’ category of the annual awards for the patented WLAN technology at an awards ceremony in Copenhagen overnight.


The honour marks the first time an Australian team has claimed the prestigious prize since its inception in 2006.


“We’re thrilled for the team to receive this international recognition for an invention that has had such a significant global impact,” said Nigel Poole, CSIRO’s Acting Group Executive for Information Sciences.


“It’s a technology that has changed how we work and how we live. The rapid expansion of indoor wireless communications is in part possible because of the WLAN technology invented by scientists at CSIRO in Australia.”


Used by over three billion devices worldwide, the technology is expected to be used by over five billion by the time the patent expires next year.  


The EIA is presented in five categories: Industry, Research, SMEs, Non-European countries and Lifetime Achievement. Fifteen finalists were selected across all categories from almost 200 inventors and teams who were originally nominated, by an international jury comprising leading personalities from industry, science, politics and media.