EU Prize for women innovators 2019

The 2019 winners were announced on 16 May at VivaTech in Paris.

What is the EU prize for women innovators?

This is a cash prize awarded every year to European women who founded a successful company and brought an innovation to market.

Why is there a prize?

Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises. This is untapped potential for Europe, which needs to optimise all available resources to remain competitive and find solutions to our societal challenges.This award recognises the role of women in bringing about game-changing innovations to market and honours the outstanding achievements of female entrepreneurs running innovative companies.

The prize will be awarded to up to 4 women innovators in total, who have had the largest impact on the innovation ecosystem by transforming ideas into new and advanced products and/ services for the benefit of European citizens.  

Prize value

  • 3 prizes of €100,000 each
  • Rising Innovator (35 or younger): €50,000

The award also recognises a number of finalists specially acknowledged for their outstanding record as women entrepreneurs and innovators.

Who can apply?

The contest is open to women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, who have

  • founded a successful company and
  • brought innovation to market

Award criteria

  • breakthrough innovation – the company  funded / co-funded  by  the  contestant  provides a cutting edge product or service
  • impact – the cutting edge product or service brings major benefits to citizens and society and the economy
  • inspiration – the contestant has shown active leadership, her role has influenced the success of the company and has the potential to inspire others

Applications are judged by a panel of independent experts from across Europe.

How to apply

Participants can apply for the contest online. The full details are explained in the following documents.


The next edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators will be launched at the start of 2020, and candidates will have roughly two months to submit their applications. Please check back here for updates.


For more information email

Past competitions



Biographies of winners and finalists of the 2018 competition and award ceremony details.



Biographies of winners and finalists of the 2017 competition and award ceremony details.



Biographies of the winners for the 2016 competition and details of the award ceremony.

2014 and 2011

2014 and 2011

Biographies of the winners of the 2014 and 2011 competitions.