2019 EU Prize for Women Innovators

Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas announced today at the VivaTech conference in Paris the four winners of the 2019 EU Prize for Women Innovators. The prize is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

The winners of the 2019 EU Prize for Women Innovators are:

  • Irina Borodina (Lithuania), co-founder and CTO of BioPhero, a biotech company producing pheromones as a safe, affordable and effective alternative to pesticides.
  • Martine Caroff (France), founder and CSO of two biotechnological companies: LPS-BioSciences, which specialises in bacterial endotoxins for vaccines, in vitro diagnostics, cosmetics as well as medical devices and HEPHAISTOS-Pharma which develops immunotherapy for oncology.
  • Shimrit Perkol-Finkel (Israel), co-founder and CEO of ECOncrete Tech, a company that provides environmentally sensitive concrete products on which life can grow thereby enhancing the biological and ecological value of urban, coastal, and marine infrastructures.

The three winners all received €100 000 for their work.

The Rising Innovator 2019 is:

  • Michela Puddu (Italy), co-founder and CEO of Haelixa, a company that uses intelligent DNA-based tracing solutions to ensure ethical and transparent business practices, with special focus on sustainable products such as organic cotton.

Ms Puddu received €50 000 for her results.

Commissioner Moedas said:

I am honoured to share this moment of recognition with such amazing innovators. They show the unlimited talent present in Europe and the importance of women entrepreneurs. I hope that with this prize, our winners will go on to inspire many other women to create innovative businesses.

Background

Today’s winners have founded or co-founded a successful company based on their innovative ideas. They were chosen by a jury of independent experts following an open call for submissions in autumn 2018. The jury consisted of independent experts from business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia. 154 applications were submitted from across the EU and the countries associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation, which provides the prize money for the awards. 13 finalists were shortlisted for the award in April 2019.

The aim of the EU Prize for Women Innovators is to raise public awareness of the need for more innovation and more women entrepreneurs, to recognise the success of women in innovation and create strong role models. Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises – only 31% of entrepreneurs in the EU are women. This represents an untapped potential for Europe, which needs to use all its human resources to their full potential in order to remain competitive and to find solutions to economic and societal challenges.

This is the sixth edition of the contest, which began in 2011. To be eligible to compete, participants must have founded or co-founded a company before January 2017 and must be ordinary residents in an EU Member State or a country associated to Horizon 2020.

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