The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced this year’s winners of the EIT Awards. Celebrating outstanding innovations, the EIT Awards winners were chosen by an international jury and featured 19 nominees from across Europe, competing in categories recognising excellence in innovation in the fields of climate, energy, digitisation, food, health and raw materials.
More than 400 entrepreneurs, innovators and policymakers gathered at the EIT Awards ceremony in Budapest yesterday. The winners were presented with their awards by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; László Palkovics, Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology; Sanja Damjanović, Montenegrin Minister of Science; Laima Kaušpadiene, Member of the EIT Governing Board; and, Prof. Werner Weidenfeld, Rector of the Alma Mater Europaea.
“My congratulations to the EIT Award winners 2019, and to all the nominees,” said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. “They are an inspiration to innovators across Europe, and proof that the EIT, Europe’s largest innovation network, increasingly succeeds in supporting ambitious entrepreneurs, job creation and solutions to the challenges facing our societies. I look forward to seeing this innovation community continue to go from strength to strength in the coming years.”
“Congratulations to all of today’s EIT Awards winners! It has been impressive to watch the talented innovators pitch here in Budapest and discover their ground-breaking innovations made in Europe,” said Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chair of the EIT Governing Board.
“Impressively, ventures supported by the EIT Community have already raised EUR 1.5 billion in external investment. Powering entrepreneurs to turn their best ideas into solutions for a greener, healthier and more sustainable planet is at the heart of the EIT, Europe’s most experienced innovation engine.”
2019 EIT Awards Winners
The EIT Awards, unveiled yesterday, celebrate the best of Europe’s entrepreneurs who are powering solutions to pressing challenges facing Europe in climate, energy, digitisation, food, health and raw materials. The awards encourage entrepreneurs and promote innovation made in Europe.
Here are this year’s first place 2019 EIT winners:
German LeafTech, represented by Michael Dittel and supported by EIT Climate-KIC, won the EIT CHANGE Award. This award recognises top graduates from EIT education programmes, and the winner is awarded €20k. Leaftech creates shading automation solutions for smart buildings using virtual sensor technology to reduce energy usage. “As a creative person with a passion for engineering and innovation, I never knew where to put my ideas and energy. The EIT Climate-KIC Master label degree showed me the right path,” said Dittel.
French Diabeloop, represented by Marc Julien and supported by EIT Health, won the EIT Innovators Award. This award recognises teams with high impact products and services and is awarded €50k. Diabeloop creates innovative solutions for diabetes patients, including ‘artificial pancreas’. “Partners are essential as nobody has the skills to face all the challenges of building innovative products and entering the market on their own. The EIT Community has helped us foster cross-border cooperation in a major way,” said Julien.
Swedish CorPower Ocean, represented by Matthew Dickson and supported by EIT InnoEnergy, won the EIT Venture Award. This award recognises successful entrepreneurial startups and scale-ups and the winner is awarded €50k. CorPower Ocean harnesses the natural power of the oceans to help us tackle climate change and achieve a sustainable low-carbon future. “EIT InnoEnergy were the ones who first believed in our product and were ready to actually put money into it, thus attracting other investors,” said Matthew Dickson.
Portuguese Trigger.Systems, represented by Sara Guimarães Gonçalves and supported by EIT InnoEnergy, won the EIT Woman Award. This award recognises outstanding women innovators and is awarded €20k. Trigger.Systems allows farmers to easily control their irrigation systems, save resources and increase yield. “There is a lot of gender bias in our sector but EIT InnoEnergy provided me with the necessary empowerment tools to make it,” said Guimarães Gonçalves.
Spanish Zeleros, represented by Pistoni Perez and supported by EIT Climate-KIC, won the EIT Public Award. This award recognises the public’s top innovation, with thousands of votes cast across Europe. Zeleros is working with key industry players, public institutions, investors and research organisations to accelerate the development of the hyperloop concept to disrupt transportation. “The EIT is the perfect bridge to scale our disruptive innovation project at the European level,” said Perez.