The European Commission has launched a competition to identify Europe's top future innovators. The public is invited to vote for their favourite among 50 nominees who have been developing innovations through EU-funded projects. The finalists come from every corner of Europe, from SMEs, universities and start-ups and are delivering a diverse set of scientific and technological breakthroughs. They have been identified through the European Commission's Innovation Radar, a data-driven engine that aims to identify high potential innovations and the key innovators behind them.

Innovation Radar Prize logo

Innovation Radar Prize 2018

Starting on 29 October 2018, the public can vote online for the innovators they think most deserve the Innovation Radar Prize 2018. Voting is open until 12 November 2018.

Nominees are grouped into five categories:

  • Tech for Society – recognising technologies impacting society and citizens
  • Excellent Science - cutting-edge science underpinning tomorrow's technological advances
  • Industrial & Enabling Tech - the next generation of tech and components supporting industry
  • Best Young SME -  recognising dynamic young SMEs (established in 2013 or later) who are developing great innovations with EU-funding
  • Best early stage innovation - recognising innovations showing promise at early stages of EU-funded projects

This public vote will decide on 4 innovators from each of the 5 categories. The 20 finalists will get to pitch their plans taking their innovation to market to a jury of experts at the ICT 2018 event in Vienna on 5 December 2018.

The jury will decide on one winner from each category, and an overall winner who will be featured on a euronews programme about their innovation and its market potential.

Previous Innovation Radar Prize winners

In 2017 the overall winner was in CATEC (http://www.catec.aero/en), a Spanish Aviation research centre, for industrial drones they developed with EU funding. Their drones can not only allow "see" from the air, but also "touch and feel". The CATEC drones – which integrate a robotic arm, advanced software and state-of-the-art sensors - open up new possibilities for performing industrial inspections that require contact.

In 2016 the overall Innovation Radar prize was awarded to Intrinsic-ID, a Dutch SME, which developed a unique technology and has become a world leader in security systems. Their technology - authentication technology based on the electronic fingerprint of devices - was developed within the EU-funded project PUFFIN. Intrinsic ID are today selling this technology to customers around the world. Learn more about Intrinsic ID in this euronews feature.

The first ever Innovation Radar Prize was awarded to BroadBit. Since then, BroadBit, an SME originally from Slovakia but now based in Finland, have raised additional finance to fund expansion and production of their innovative battery technology. Learn more about BroadBit in this euronews feature.

Why Innovation Radar?

Europe's research and development programme Horizon 2020, with a budget of nearly €80 billion, has a greatly increased focus on supporting innovation and the EU is investing heavily to support digital innovators. This is part of the Commission's plans to see more and more European inventions delivering benefits for our economy and society, and to help EU –funded innovations get out of the lab and into the market.

The Innovation Radar uses a model, developed with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, to analyse the innovative output of EU-funded research and Innovation projects. Since April 2018 the public can discover high potential EU-funded innovations via the data-driven Innovation Radar web platform and smartphone apps (Google Play and iOS app store).

The European Commission is also enhancing the Innovation Radar in close collaboration with the 21 European countries who have so far signed the Innovation Radar declaration this year.