Meet 12 of the most innovative women entrepreneurs in the EU

12 Mar 2018

Image: Carpentry/Shutterstock

The 12 finalists of the 2018 EU Prize for Women Innovators have been revealed, showcasing some of the continent’s best research and entrepreneurial talent.

Each year, the EU gives out awards to women who have shown themselves to be at the top of their game when it comes to having a brilliant research idea and successfully taking it to the market, and now we have a shortlist of 12 for this year’s event.

Funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Prize for Women Innovators shortlist was announced following this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

Each finalist has founded or co-founded a successful company based on her innovative ideas, with nine of the outstanding women in the running for three prizes in the main category, and three others for the Rising Innovators prize that recognises excellent female entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

The three winners of the main prize will be awarded €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000, respectively, with a prize of €20,000 given to the winner of the Rising Innovators award.

The nine finalists in the main Women Innovators category are:

  • Alicia Asín Pérez (Spain): Co-founder of Libelium in Zaragoza, developing intelligent sensor technology for several applications.
  • Rima Balanaškienė (Lithuania): Founder of Aconitum in Kaunas, developing and manufacturing innovative herbal medicines and food supplements.
  • Clare Bradley (UK): Founder of the Health Psychology Research group in London, specialising in the development and use of patient-reported outcome measures in international health-related research.
  • Martine Caroff (France): Founder of LPS-BioSciences in Paris, specialising in bacterial endotoxins for vaccines, in-vitro diagnostics, cosmetics and medical devices.
  • Gabriella Colucci (Italy): Founded of Arterra in Naples, discovering and producing active compounds for industrial applications – in particular, cosmetics and agriculture.
  • Walburga Fröhlich (Austria): Co-founder of Atempo in Graz, enabling people with learning disabilities to join the labour market as paid employees.
  • Maria-Pau Ginebra (Spain): Founder of Mimetis in Barcelona, designing and manufacturing new synthetic biomaterials for bone regeneration and orthopaedic applications.
  • María Luisa Hernández Latorre (Spain): Co-founder of Ingelia in Valencia, based on a novel industrial technology that turns bio-waste into biomaterials.
  • Séverine Sigrist (France): Founder of Defymed in Strasbourg, developing implantable bio-artificial medical devices.

The three candidates for the Rising Innovators award are:

  • Karen Dolva (Norway): Co-founder of No Isolation in Oslo, creating tailored communications devices for groups that are socially isolated and lonely.
  • Anna Fiscale (Italy): Co-founder of the Quid Project in Avesa, producing clothing and accessories from waste and leftovers, and employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Zoi Giavri (Greece): Co-founder of Advantis in Athens, offering a web-based software suite for the processing of brain MRI exams.

Speaking of the finalists, the European commissioner for research, science and innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: “On this day, the world shouts about the importance of gender equality.

“For me, the battle must be won on many fronts. And two of our strongest tools to empower women are science and innovation. This is the true spirit of the EU Prize for Women Innovators.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic