The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) had double cause for celebration on Thursday with its 10-year anniversary and annual EIT Awards for innovation in Europe.
The EIT’s evolution has grown into Europe’s one-stop shop for innovation. Yesterday, the EIT Awards celebrated the most talented entrepreneurs and innovators in Europe during INNOVEIT, the annual innovation forum of the EIT.
“Through the EIT, the EU has invested in entrepreneurs all over Europe, building a unique network, helping to create an entrepreneurial culture and providing critical support as ventures expand globally,” said Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the EIT.
“The EIT Awards are a celebration of this, and the nominees and winners ambassadors of Europe’s innovative talent – my congratulations to them all!” he added.
At the event, five major awards were announced, with prizes totalling €180,000.
EIT Change Award: €20,000
The EIT Change Award recognises top graduates from EIT education programmes.
This year’s winner is Simone Accornero (supported by EIT InnoEnergy), CEO and co-founder of FlexiDAO (based in Barcelona, Spain), a software that automates energy data processing and exchanges, while combining traceability and transparency for the first time.
EIT Innovators Award: €50,000
The EIT Innovators Award recognises teams with high impact products and services.
This year’s winning team is led by Ioannis Tarnanas (supported by EIT Health), President and CSO of Altoida (based in San Diego and Lucerne). The Alzheimer’s Disease Prediction Service (ADPS) is one of the first validated solutions able to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s for people over 50.
EIT Venture Award: €50,000
The EIT Venture Award recognises successful entrepreneurial start-ups and scale-ups.
This year’s winner is Bieke Van Gorp, Chief Business Development Officer and co-founder at Qompium NV (supported by EIT Health). Qompium (based in Hasselt, Belgium) developed FibriCheck, a mobile application that enables users to detect atrial fibrillation and take preventive action.
EIT Woman Award: €20,000
The EIT Woman Award recognises outstanding women innovators.
This year’s winner is Isabel Hoffmann, CEO of Tellspec LTD (supported by EIT Food) that has developed a rapid, portable and affordable sensor to test for the quality and decay of raw white fish, and the fraudulent use of excess water in frozen fish.
EIT Public Award
The EIT Public Award recognises the public’s top innovation with thousands of votes cast across Europe.
This year’s winner is Laura Soucek, founder and CEO of Peptomyc S.L. (supported by EIT Health and based in Barcelona, Spain) a peptide-based solution that can serve as a new treatment option for cancer patients.
The winners were chosen from among 38 nominees by an international jury. Each finalist was selected for driving European innovation through ground-breaking products, services and processes that address global challenges in the fields of energy, food, health and raw materials.
“The EIT Awards celebrate excellence in innovation. Promoting the outstanding achievements of our entrepreneurs here in Budapest shines a bright light on the talent powered by the EIT Community,” said Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board.
“In just 10 years, the EIT has grown from a start-up organisation to become Europe’s strongest innovation network. This years’ winners are not just proof that the EIT is on the right course, but that it is a mature organisation ready to advance further. Europe needs more ambition for its innovative economy; it has the skills, the EIT has the thriving network to make innovation happen,” he added.
The full list and profiles of the 2018 EIT Awards winners can be found here.