THE EIT, EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, REWARDS THE BEST ENTERPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS THAT WILL CHANGE EUROPE.
Entrepreneurs and innovators from all over Europe participated in the last edition of the EIT Awards ceremony during INNOVEIT, one of the most important innovation forums in Europe, held in Budapest 16-17 October 2017. The meeting was the occasion to discuss solutions to issues related to climate, energy, digitalization, food, health and raw materials. On the occasion, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics said: “The winners of this year’s EIT Awards are absolutely inspiring. The EIT Community and the EIT Awards show how many young Europeans have the talent, creativity and determination to help us tackle the big challenges facing our continent. The EIT is vital in offering young people the chance to transform their best ideas into products, services and jobs. To have more innovators like these, Europe has to better integrate entrepreneurship and innovation into education – that’s exactly what the EIT Community does.”
The EIT CHANGE AWARD – rewarding graduates who spur innovation and bring about societal change – was won by Florence Gschwend (Switzerland), co-founder and Director of Operations at Chrysalix Technologies, for the BioFlex process that enables contaminated waste wood from construction and demolition to be transformed into inexpensive fuels, materials and chemicals, contributing to a cleaner tomorrow for us all.
The EIT INNOVATORS AWARD – recognizing innovation teams developing a product or service with a high potential for societal and economic impact – was won by Martin Steinberg (Sweden), Project Leader at the Karolinska Institute, for the Stockholm3 Test (STHLM3), an innovative cancer-detecting blood test. The test detects the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by combining five protein markers, more than 100 genetic markers, clinical data and a proprietary algorithm. Developed with the support of EIT Health, this non-invasive blood test reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies by 50% compared to current clinical practice.
The EIT VENTURE AWARD – recognizing Europe’s most promising ventures – was won by Hans Constandt (Belgium), founder and CEO of Ontoforce, for DISQOVER, an innovative search tool that finds medical data faster, smarter and simpler in order to heal patients more effectively. DISQOVER aggregates data from an unlimited number of public, third-party and private sources. Supported by EIT Health, this advanced search technology will have a global impact on bringing drugs to market faster.
Lastly, The EIT AUDIENCE AWARD – a new Award chosen by all participants of INNOVEIT – was won by Carsten Mahrenholz, co-founder and CEO of COLDPLASMATECH GmbH, the company behind the innovative “Plasma Patch” – a Star Trek-like device that uses cold plasma to kill multi-resistant bacteria and treat chronic wounds. Carsten’s goal is to pioneer the next step in modern medicine, by “fighting a problem that could take us back to the Middle Ages: antibiotic resistance”.
The winners were chosen by an international jury from among 20 nominations. Each finalist was selected for driving European innovation through ground-breaking products, services and processes that address global challenges in the fields of climate, energy, digitization, health and raw materials. This year’s list of nominees stood out for its high percentage of women entrepreneurs (8 finalists, an increase of 22% over last year) and the high number of nominees related to climate change products or services (35%) and digital technologies (22%).
If you don’t know…
What is the EIT?
The EIT is an independent EU body set up to power innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. The EIT Community brings together leading companies, universities and research labs to form dynamic cross-border partnerships – Innovation Communities – that develop innovative products and services, start new companies, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. The fields of climate, digitization, energy, health, raw materials and food will be joined next year by urban mobility and added value manufacture. To date, the EIT has supported the creation of more than 300 innovative start-ups, 400 new products and services. More than 1,200 students have graduated from EIT entrepreneurial education programmes. Start-ups and scale-ups supported by the EIT have raised more than EUR 600 million in external capital and created more than 6,000 jobs.
For further information visit innoveit.eu.