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EU Prize for Women Innovators


And the winners are...

The three winners of the 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators have been announced.

The winners, from Portugal, Finland and Ireland, have all received EU research and innovation funding at some point in their careers, and recently founded or co-founded a successful company based on their innovative ideas.

Photo of the winners Commissioner Moedas with the three winners.
From right to left: Susana Sargento, Sirpa Jalkanen and Sarah Bourke

The winners are:

First: Dr. Susana Sargento, co-founder of Veniam in Portugal, turns vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots and builds city-scale vehicular networks that collect terabytes of urban data.

Second: Prof. Sirpa Jalkanen, co-founder of BioTie Therapies in Finland, discovered unique targets for drug development for harmful inflammations and cancer treatment.

Third: Dr. Sarah Bourke, co-founder of Skytek in Ireland, develops software for the International Space Station and received innovation awards from NASA.

Photo of the winners
Photo of the winners
Photo of the winners

The three winners received their prizes from Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation during a Citizens' Dialogue event in Brussels on 10 March on the importance of women in Business and Research.

Commission announces winners of 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators - News Alert

The Citizen's Dialogue with Commissioner Moedas followed by the Award Ceremony

(The recording lasts nearly 2 hours and the award ceremony starts at 1:24:45.)

Nine finalists compete for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016

Nine outstanding women entrepreneurs who have brought their breakthrough ideas to the market have reached the final stage of the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016.

The finalists were selected by a high-level jury consisting of independent experts from business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia. 64 applications were submitted for the 2016 edition of the Prize. The companies created by the contestants showcase innovations in a wide range of sectors, with life science and ICT being the most dominant ones.

Women innovate, Europe gains!


The event took place on 10 March in Brussels , Belgium.

Follow the contest on Twitter via hashtag #EUWIN2016

Download: Poster (FR/NL)  PDF icon 2.3 MB | Invitation to the Award Ceremony  PDF icon 253 KB

Nine finalists compete for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016 - News Alert

About the contest

With the EU Prize for Women Innovators, the European Commission wants to give public recognition to outstanding women entrepreneurs who brought their innovative ideas to the market. The aim is to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps.

After two successful editions in 2011 and 2014, the European Commission has launched the third edition of the prize.

Three prizes will be awarded in Spring 2016:

  • 1st prize: €100 000
  • 2nd prize: €50 000
  • 3rd prize: €30 000

EU launches the third edition of the Women Innovators Prize - News Alert


Who could participate in the contest?

The contest is open to all women who have founded or co-founded their company and who have at some point of their careers benefitted from the EU's research framework programmes, the EURATOM Framework Programme, the Competitiveness and Innovation framework programme (CIP) or actions relating to research and innovation under the European Structural and Investment Funds (known as the Structural Funds prior to 2014).

The contestant must reside in an EU Member State or a country associated to Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

The company must have been registered before 1 January 2013 and have had an annual turnover of at least EUR 100 000 in 2013 or 2014.

Read the Contest Rules  PDF icon 128 KB