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EIT Awards 2020

Public & Academic/News/

Announcing the 2020 EIT award winners

Healthtech, greentech and AI startups were amongst the winners of this year’s awards.

By Karam Filfilan

The winners of the 2020 European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Awards have been chosen, with innovations in healthcare, greentech and artificial intelligence leading the way. 

Designed to reward entrepreneurs and ideas that promote a greener, healthier, more digital Europe, the awards recognise the Institute’s top startups, graduates, innovators and women entrepreneurs. 

26 finalists competed in four categories with the fifth award chosen by a public vote. More than €300,000 was awarded in cash prizes, with the winners of each category receiving €50,000. 

“This year’s EIT Awards not only recognise the achievements of Europe’s brightest innovators and entrepreneurs, but also their resilience during these exceptional times.”

Nominees in the four main categories had to pitch their product to a panel of international judges before taking part in a live Q&A. 

 EIT Venture Award Winner Filippo Bosco, Bluesense Diagsnostics
EIT Venture Award Winner Filippo Bosco, Blusense Diagsnostics

From Covid-19 testing to wind energy

The EIT Venture Award focuses on startups and scaleups which have accelerated business growth through support from the EIT community. The winner from eight finalists was Filippo Bosco, CEO of BluSense Diagnostics. Its nanotechnology-based blood testing platform diagnoses infectious diseases from a single drop of blood and has raised more than €15m in funding since its inception in 2014. 

Earlier in the year, the Denmark-based company developed and released a Covid-19 antibody test in under three months with funding from the EIT and has also created a diagnostic tool that can identify dengue and zika viruses.

“EIT Manufacturing has provided great support to us in a challenging year. 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 Bosco. 

EIT Woman Award Winner Cristina Aleixandri Munoz, bound4blue
EIT Woman Award Winner Cristina Aleixandri Munoz, bound4blue

Part of the EIT’s mission is to encourage the development of female entrepreneurs, who make up just 21% of founders in Europe. Its dedicated award for women was won by Cristina Aleixendri Muñoz, COO and cofounder of bound4blue, which designs wing sails for commercial ships to use wind power, reducing CO2 emissions and cutting fuel costs. 

“If each female entrepreneur empowers two women to join the startup ecosystem and supports them to become tech entrepreneurs, the increase in women in tech would not be incremental, but exponential.”

A previous Forbes 30 under 30 winner, Muñoz called for more support from female founders to empower future female entrepreneurs.

“If each female entrepreneur empowers two women to join the startup ecosystem and supports them to become tech entrepreneurs, the increase in women in tech would not be incremental, but exponential,” she said.

EIT Innovators Award Winner Andreu Climent, Corify Care (ACORYS)
EIT Innovators Award Winner Andreu Climent, Corify Care (ACORYS)

 Societal impact

Big ideas that have a lasting impact on society are going to be key to powering Europe’s post-pandemic recovery. From robots working in care homes to chatbots improving your daily commute, the seven nominees in the EIT Innovators Award category all pitched potentially game-changing products. 

The winner was Andreu Martínez Climent, CEO of Corify Care for its ACORYS medical device which helps prevent strokes by identifying cardiac arrhythmia. The device can non-invasively monitor the electrical currents of the heart, increasing the effectiveness of treatment by up to 95%. 

EIT CHANGE Award Winner Chaitanya Dhumasker, Monitor Fish
EIT CHANGE Award Winner Chaitanya Dhumasker, Monitor Fish

 

The EIT Change award recognises graduates of EIT’s education programmes, with the 2020 award won by Chaitanya Dhumasker, cofounder and CEO of MonitorFish. Based in Berlin and founded in 2019, MonitorFish is an AI-powered image recognition software that helps fisheries diagnose and analyse the health of their fish, reducing usage of chemicals and pesticides and increasing sustainability. 

Dhumasker credited EIT’s entrepreneurial education programme with helping him bring his business to life, from an initial idea through team building, funding and pitching. 

More than 5,000 votes were cast online for the EIT Public Award, with the eventual winner being Sweden-based Karthik Laxman Kunjali, CEO of Stockholm Water Technology. Founded in 2018, its water purification technology processes contaminated water into clean water for commercial, industrial or private use.

EIT Public Award Winner Karthik Laman Kunjali, Stockholm Water Technology
EIT Public Award Winner Karthik Laman Kunjali, Stockholm Water Technology

 

“EIT Manufacturing has provided great support to us in a challenging year. The venture support we received from the EIT Crisis Response Initiative allows us to address critical manufacturing pain points.”

“This year’s EIT Awards not only recognise the 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,” said Gioia Ghezzi, chair of the EIT Governing Board. 

Success stories

Since its launch in 2008, more than 3,200 startups have received support through EIT, going on to raise €3.3bn in investment and creating more than 13,000 jobs across Europe. 

In 2021, the EIT is set to scale up its education initiatives and its reach across the continent, as part of the Horizon Europe research programme. It will be working closely with universities, to inject graduates with the entrepreneurial itch and teach them innovation skills. It will also be launching its ninth knowledge and innovation community, dedicated to the cultural industries, in 2022. 

Keep up with the EIT’s exciting plans for the coming year and join them to make innovation happen.

Supported by

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)'s logo

Driving innovation in Europe, turning the best ideas into reality.

EIT Awards 2020