European Commission launches EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017

News Alert

European Commission launches EU Prize
for Women Innovators 2017

Brussels, 13 September 2016

The EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017 competition, which awards female entrepreneurs who have successfully brought an innovation to market, opens today.

This year's edition is open to women of any nationality living in a European country* that have founded or co-founded a company with a turnover of at least €100,000. To spotlight a new generation, the 2017 edition will also feature a Rising Innovator category for female entrepreneurs aged 30 years or under.

European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: "The EU Prize for Women Innovators highlights just some of the many remarkable women contributing to the European knowledge economy. Previous winners have had significant achievements in areas as diverse as immunology, telecommunications and software development. We hope these prizes help winners to continue on the path of innovation and encourage others to follow in the footsteps of these outstanding entrepreneurs."

There are four prizes in total:

  • 1st prize €100,000
  • 2nd prize €50,000
  • 3rd prize €30,000
  • Rising Innovator prize €20,000

A high-level jury will evaluate and select the four winners, who will be announced around International Women's Day, Wednesday 8 March 2017. To enter, please apply via the competition website before the closing date of 3 November 2016.

European country*: In this case, this includes any EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme (2014 – 2020)


Women represent only 30% of all entrepreneurs in Europe. With this prize, funded under the EU research and innovation funding programme of Horizon 2020 (2014 – 2020), the EU seeks to showcase the achievements of women who overcome barriers to entrepreneurship, such as access to finances and networks, and draw attention to the need to increase female participation in the area.

More than 260 women have entered the competition since it started in 2011. The winners of the 2016 prizes were Susana Sargento (Portugal), who turns vehicles into wifi hotspots, Sirpa Jalkanen (Finland) whose innovations lead to novel drug compounds for breast and prostate cancer, and Sarah Bourke from Ireland, for her pioneering space technology that is used by International Space station, NASA.

More information

Press contact

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation