For the fifth consecutive year, the European Commission will be awarding the EU Prize for Women Innovators to recognise entrepreneurs who have implemented outstanding innovations and brought them to market. Applications for the 2018 competition are open until 15 November for women across the European Union or from any of the countries associated with the Horizon 2020 programme, such as Iceland, Norway or Montenegro.
Applications will be assessed according to the project’s originality and marketability, and economic and societal impact, as well as the entrepreneur’s own impact and leadership. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000, respectively. There is also an award of €20,000 for a “Rising Innovator”.
Last year’s winner was Michela Magas, founder of Stromatolite, a design innovation lab building incubation and creative technology toolkits for innovation. Second place went to Petra Wadström, founder of Solvatten, which produces a portable water purifier and a water heater powered by solar energy, while Claudia Gärtner, from ChipShop, a provider of “lab-on-a-chip” systems for better diagnostics, came third. BLITAB Technology’s tablet for blind users earned Kristina Tsvetanova, the company’s CEO and co-founder, recognition as a “Rising Innovator”.
The European Commission created the prize in 2011 to encourage woman innovators to become entrepreneurs since only 31% of all entrepreneurs across the EU-28 are women. Carlos Moedas, the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, explains that this prize aims to give “public recognition to outstanding women entrepreneurs” while inspiring “other women to follow in their footsteps”.
To know more about the award and how to apply, check here.