The Green. The Digital. The Healthy. Cutting-edge tech innovations compete for EIT Awards 2020

20 October 2020

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The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) is celebrating 28 entrepreneurs from across Europe nominated for the EIT Awards 2020. These outstanding innovators have been nominated for their endurance & creativity, recognising their groundbreaking products & services, helping accelerate Europe’s transition to a greener, healthier & more digital future.

This year’s Awards ceremony will be held virtually on December 8th & 9th, showcasing the achievements of successful graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators, supported by the EIT Community. 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, digitalisation, food, health, manufacturing, mobility and raw materials.

The EIT Awards 2020 nominees show the EIT Community’s diversity, with many backgrounds represented: Belgium (1), Denmark (2), France (1), Germany (5), Hungary (2), Italy (1), Netherlands (2), Poland (1), Portugal (2), Spain (4), Sweden (2), Switzerland (3) and the United Kingdom (2). The full list of nominees and their innovations can be found at: https://eit.europa.eu/sites/default/files/eit_awards_all_nominees.pdf

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education & Youth said: "Through the EIT, the EU invests in its brightest innovators as they help to create a greener, healthier and more sustainable society for Europe’s citizens. The nominees for this year’s Awards are based in 13 countries and are a testament to the EIT’s ability to identify and drive the most promising innovation projects. I congratulate them all on reaching this stage and I look forward to the EIT Awards 2020 ceremony in December."

Gioia Ghezzi, Chair of the EIT Governing Board said: "This year’s EIT Awards not only recognise the impressive achievements of the innovators we support, but also their resilience during these difficult times. This year’s innovations range from new, more sustainable technologies to health care diagnostics and smart data analysis across sectors. The EIT Award nominees embody what Europe needs to face its current challenges:  innovators who can quickly mobilise to transform ideas into pragmatic solutions."

The 28 nominees will compete in the following four categories that represent the driving dynamics of entrepreneurship in Europe:

•    EIT CHANGE Award, recognising top graduates from EIT entrepreneurial education programmes

•    EIT Innovators Award, highlighting teams and individuals that have developed high-impact products and services

•    EIT Venture Award, showcasing start-ups and scale-ups that have benefited from business acceleration and creation support by the EIT Community

•    EIT Woman Award, putting the spotlight on inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders

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Each award comes with a monetary prize of EUR 50,000 (first place), EUR 20,000 (second place) and EUR 10,000 (third place). The public will also be able to have its say with the fifth category, the EIT Public Award, giving everyone a chance to vote for their top innovation. Online voting will commence on 16 November at eitawards.eu

The final selection of nominees will pitch their innovations publicly online on 8 December, and the winners of the five categories will be announced in a live award ceremony on 9 December.

BACKGROUND: EIT - MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN!

What is the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT)?

The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body which is an integral part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships – EIT Knowledge & Innovation Communities – among leading companies, research labs and universities.  

EIT powers innovative solutions to global challenges

The EIT’s eight Knowledge & Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC), drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital), lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food), give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health), achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy), strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing), develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials) and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility). Together with their leading partners in Europe, the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe: entrepreneurial education courses, business creation and acceleration services, and innovation driven research projects.  

In line with the European Commission’s plans for the EIT in 2021 to 2027, a Call for a new EIT Culture & Creativity Knowledge & Innovation Community will be launched soon.

EIT facts & figures:

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•    Europe’s largest innovation network: 2 000+ partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs across Europe

•    Europe’s tried, tested and proven innovation engine: powered more than 3,100 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 1,170 new products and services that have gone to raise more than EUR 3.3 billion in external capital. More than 3,100 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes and over 10,000 have participated in EIT Community entrepreneurial trainings.

More information: EIT in a nutshell Infographic

EIT success stories:

The EIT Community powers talented innovators, entrepreneurs and students. These include Diabeloop - D4Kids, an artificial intelligence system to improve type 1 diabetes management for children, supported by EIT Health; CorPower Ocean, supported by EIT InnoEnergy, which is developing a unique Wave Energy Converter to efficiently and sustainably harvest wave energy, revolutionising the world of renewable wave energy; and Lilium, the world’s first electric vertical take-off and landing jet, supported by EIT Climate-KIC.

Discover EIT Community innovators:

EIT Community COVID-19 solutions & EIT Community Success Stories

About the EIT

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) is an independent body of the European Union set up in 2008 to deliver innovation across Europe. The EIT brings together leading business, education and research organisations to form dynamic cross-border partnerships. These are called Innovation Communities and each is dedicated to finding solutions to a specific global challenge.  EIT Innovation Communities develop innovative products and services, start new companies, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. Together, we power innovators and entrepreneurs across Europe to turn their best ideas into products, services, jobs and growth.


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