A team of researchers from Novo Nordisk has been nominated for Europe's top innovation prize, Inventor of the Year 2008 Award. The team of Novo Nordisk researchers are Svend Havelund, John Broberg Halstrom, Ib Jonassen, Asser Sloth Andersen and Jan Markussen.

Novo Nordisk has been nominated in the 'industry' category, competing against French aviation company Airbus and German automaker Audi. This year's award ceremony will be held alongside the European Patent Forum 2008, 'Inventing a cleaner future', in Ljubljana.

The invention for which the Novo Nordisk researchers are nominated concerns Levemir (insulin detemir), a long-acting modern insulin that covers the body's basal insulin need and which today is used by more than one million people with diabetes. They have been nominated for 'significantly improving the safety and quality of life of diabetes patients with a new insulin derivative for once daily administration'.

The prize will be presented at a ceremony in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on May 6 by the European Patent Office and the European Commission. Prizes are awarded in four categories: industry, small- and medium-sized enterprises/research institutes, non-European countries and lifetime achievement. The awards will be presented by Danilo Türk, the president of the Republic of Slovenia, and Alison Brimelow, the president for the European Patent Office.

The prize recognizes inventors and innovations that have made a significant and lasting contribution to technical development in Europe and beyond and thus have strengthened Europe's economic position. All the nominated projects were patented by the European Patent Office between 1993 and 2002.