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Twelve outstanding finalists are in the running for the 2018 EU Prize for Women Innovators

Twelve successful women entrepreneurs who have brought their breakthrough ideas to the market have made it to the shortlist for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018, funded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, announced the names on this year's International Women's Day at a meeting of the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality:

"On this day, the world shouts about the importance of gender equality. For me, the battle must be won on many fronts. And two of our strongest tools to empower women are science and innovation. This is the true spirit of the EU Prize for Women Innovators." 

Each finalist has founded or co-founded a successful company based on her innovative ideas. Nine of the outstanding women are in the running for three prizes in the main category, and three others for the Rising Innovators prize that recognises excellent female entrepreneurs under the age of 30.


The nine finalists in the main Women Innovators category are:

Alicia  ASÍN PÉREZ (ES), who co-founded the company Libelium in Zaragoza, which develops intelligent sensor technology for several applications.

Rima BALANAŠKIENĖ (LT), who founded the company Aconitum in Kaunas, which develops and manufactures innovative herbal medicines and food supplements.

Clare BRADLEY (UK), who founded the Health Psychology Research (HPR) group in London, which specialises in the development and use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures in international health-related research.

Martine CAROFF (FR), who founded the company LPS-BioSciences in Paris, specialised in bacterial endotoxins for vaccines, in vitro diagnostic, cosmetics, and medical devices.

Gabriella COLUCCI (IT), who founded the company Arterra in Naples, which discovers and produces active compounds for industrial applications, in particular cosmetics and agriculture.

Walburga FRÖHLICH (AT), who co-founded the company atempo in Graz, which enables people with learning disabilities to join the labour market as paid employees.

Maria-Pau GINEBRA (ES), who founded the company Mimetis in Barcelona, which designs and manufactures new synthetic biomaterials for bone regeneration and orthopaedic applications.

María Luisa HERNÁNDEZ LATORRE (ES), who co-founded the company Ingelia in Valencia, based on a novel industrial technology that turns bio-waste into biomaterials.

Séverine SIGRIST (FR), who founded the company Defymed in Strasbourg, which develops implantable bio-artificial medical devices.


The three candidates for the Rising Innovators award are:

Karen DOLVA (NO), who co-founded the company No Isolation in Oslo, which creates tailored communications devices for groups that are socially isolated and lonely.

Anna FISCALE (IT), who co-founded the QUID Project in Avesa, which produces clothing and accessories from waste and leftovers, and which employs disadvantaged people.

Zoi GIAVRI (EL), who co-founded the company Advantis in Athens, which offers a web-based software suite for the processing of brain MRI exams.


The finalists were selected by a jury of independent experts from the fields of business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia. The Commission received 122 applications from across EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020. The companies created by the contestants are built around innovative ideas in a wide range of sectors, with health, biotech and social innovation being the most prominent ones.

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More about EU Prize for Women Innovators?

EU prize for women entrepreneurs who have developed and brought to market an outstanding innovation

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