Europe's research and development programme Horizon 2020, with a budget of nearly €80 billion, has a greatly increased focus on supporting innovation compared to previous EU funding for research. The reason for this emphasis is that we want to see more and more European inventions delivering benefits for our economy and society: We want to see newly developed technology coming out of the lab and going straight into the market.

In recent years, we have witnessed how digital innovations have an increasingly transformative impact on almost every aspect of our world. From health care to transport to leisure time to how we deal with public authorities – digital advances are radically changing our ways of living and working. Digital technology used to be a stand-alone sector. Today however it is an agent of transformation in all areas of social and economic activity.

With Horizon 2020 the European Union is investing heavily to support digital innovators. Thousands of EU-funded research and innovation projects with a digital focus have been launched so far in this decade. Now we are about to reveal which of them are best placed to take their results to the market or have the potential to deliver the biggest impact.

My experts have been building the Innovation Radar, a data-driven engine that aims to discover top potential innovations and innovators. Since 2014 we have been collecting a broad set of data about EU-funded digital projects. Leveraging a model we developed together with Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre we have been analysing this input to extract insights and intelligence about the best innovations and innovators.

The Innovation Radar is detecting an impressive number of compelling projects and breakthrough achievements which deserve to shine a spotlight on them.

I am therefore delighted to launch the Innovation Radar Prize 2016 today. Competing for it are 40 of the best innovators, identified by Innovation Radar, who have been developing great innovations with EU-funded projects. They come from every corner of Europe: there are small and medium enterprises, university teams, spinoffs and start-ups. They have the potential to impact everything from transport logistics to water management to treatment of cancer patients to even the management of bee populations.

Throughout the entire month of August, we are running a campaign to highlight these 40 innovators and their innovations. Starting today the public can vote on our website for the innovators they think most deserve this prize. This public vote will decide which 16 innovators from the original 40 will get to pitch their plans for going to market to a jury of experts. This pitching session will take place at the Information and Communication Technology Proposers Day event in Bratislava at 13:00 on 26 September 2016).

I invite you to check out the innovators competing for the Innovation Radar prize familiarise yourself with their great innovations and vote for your favourites!


Find out more on our Innovation Radar prize website:


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