The honor is bestowed on companies whose ideas have made significant contributions to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness.

Audi can make some room in its trophy case since they have been awarded the European Inventor of the Year 2008 award for its innovative Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology. This is the third time the trophy has been presented to a European company, Heinrich Timm, Head of the Aluminum and Lightweight Design Center at Audi, and Norbert Enning, co-inventor of the ASF concept, accepted the award in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“The award is a testament to our lead in lightweight aluminum design technology, an area that is so important for the automobile industry,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The Audi Space Frame is not only stronger and safer than a steel body but also much lighter, allowing for a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the process.

The Audi Space Frame is currently used as the underpinnings of the Audi A8, Audi TT, Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo. The ASF was first shown as the body of the Audi A8 back at the 1993 Frankfurt International Motor Show. “The body of the Audi A8 utilizing the ASF principle is one of the lightest in the luxury class,” said Norbert Enning.

Gallery: Audi Wins Inventor of the Year Award