Innovating for a green, healthy, and digital Europe: announcing the winners of the 2020 EIT Awards

Source: press release, 9 December 2020

illustration: EIT
illustration: EIT

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced the winners of its prestigious innovation prize, the EIT Awards.

In a virtual celebration of innovation, showcasing the achievements of successful graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators supported by the EIT Community, the 2020 EIT Awards winners were chosen by an international jury from 26 nominees competing in four categories. The public also had its say with the EIT Public Award that saw over 5,000 votes being cast online. Recognising excellence in innovation, the nominees showcased their cutting-edge products and services accelerating Europe’s transition to a greener, healthier, and more digital future.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth says, “It is clear that innovation will play a key role in Europe’s recovery. The many bright minds and their technologies on show today further demonstrate that the EIT’s unique approach to innovation is powering a new generation of entrepreneurs and services for Europe. My congratulations to all the finalists, and, in particular, the 2020 EIT Award winners!”

The EIT Awards highlight the entire innovation pipeline powered by the EIT, from student to entrepreneur, from lab to market, and from idea to solutions for Europe. This dynamic innovation approach creates a unique environment where nominees develop and scale innovative solutions to tackle pressing global challenges in the fields of climate, energy, digitisation, food, health, manufacturing, urban mobility, and raw materials.

Gioia Ghezzi, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, adds, “This year’s EIT Awards not only recognise the impressive achievements of Europe’s brightest innovators and entrepreneurs, but also their resilience during these exceptional times. With cutting-edge innovations in a variety of fields, from health to climate and food to digitisation, the 2020 nominees embody solutions to the many challenges currently facing Europe. This is why at the EIT, we will keep doing what we do best: powering, connecting and mobilising innovators, entrepreneurs and organisations to transform their ideas into ground-breaking technologies, for the benefit of us all.”

2020 EIT Awards Winners
The EIT Awards celebrates the entrepreneurial talent – including women innovators, start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative projects – that Europe has to offer. Winners of the EIT CHANGE Award, the EIT Innovators Award, the EIT Venture Award, and the EIT Woman Award are awarded EUR 50,000, runners up receive EUR 20,000 and third prize EUR 10,000.

Chaitanya Dhumasker, MonitorFish (Berlin, Germany) and supported by EIT Climate-KIC won the EIT CHANGE Award. This award recognises top graduates from EIT education programmes. Chaitanya Dhumasker remarkm “The education and exposure I received through the EIT Climate-KIC Master School truly fostered my confidence and passion to build a company that would drive positive change in the ecosystem.”

Andreu Martínez Climent, Corify Care (Madrid, Spain) and supported by EIT Health won the EIT Innovators Award. ACORYS innovation project partners include: SERMAS (ES), Universitat Politècnica de València (ES), University of Oxford (UK), ATOS (ES), FIBMED (DE) and GENESIS Biomed (ES). This award highlights teams and individuals that have developed high-impact products and services. “As a scientist specialising in the clinical environment, the ultimate goal of our actions is to improve the quality of life of patients and the work of clinicians. The EIT Community has provided [support] in areas including investment, management, and market access, which are helping to build a team that makes the innovation progress and succeed,” saya Andreu Martínez Climent.

Filippo Bosco, BluSense Diagnostics (Copenhagen, Denmark) and supported by EIT Manufacturing won the EIT Venture Award. This award recognises start-ups and scale-ups that have benefited from business acceleration and creation support by the EIT Community. ‘We are driven by the vision of turning research into products that improve the lives of people and reduce the impact of diseases. The venture support we received from the ‘EIT Crisis Response Initiative’ allows us to address critical manufacturing pain points with expected high societal impact.’ said Filippo Bosco.

Cristina Aleixendri Muñoz, bound4blue (Barcelona, Spain) and supported by EIT Climate-KIC won the EIT Woman Award. This award recognises inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders driving innovation. Cristina Aleixendri states, “I am optimistic that we will be able to reverse the situation of women in tech and in entrepreneurship. If each female entrepreneur empowers two women to join the start-up ecosystem and supports them to become tech entrepreneurs, the increase in women in tech and entrepreneurship would not be incremental but exponential in base-2, which is what we need.”

Karthik Laxman Kunjali, Stockholm Water Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) and supported by EIT InnoEnergy won the EIT Public Award. This award recognises the public’s top innovation with thousands of votes cast online across Europe. “From essential financing and valuable business advice to wonderful office spaces – EIT InnoEnergy has been crucial in getting us where we are now. We are very grateful to have received this kind of support and opportunities. The next development phase of our business plan, also elaborated with their support, will include reaching out to its investor and corporate network – we can’t wait!” says Karthik Laxman Kunjali.