Europe's largest innovation network is back with the 10th edition of its awards ceremony, the EIT Awards, celebrating the region's most groundbreaking innovators. The event will be held on Feb. 20th in Brussels' EGG for those joining in person, with remote livestreaming available.
Besides the awards ceremony, the event will feature several panel discussions as a chance to meet with the EIT community, and a glimpse into the partnerships and innovations EIT has been working on this past year.
EIT has been around since 2008, with the goal of strengthening innovation, delivering smart growth, creating jobs, and finding solutions to global problems by bringing together organisations across business, education, and research. They've been doing so by offering education courses, business creation and acceleration services, and innovation-driven research projects. And the initiative has paid off.
Over the past decade, EIT has supported over 5,600 ventures, 8 of which have gone on to become unicorns. The EIT Awards are the next step in recognizing the talent and initiatives that embody the values and goals of EIT, to ultimately support and encourage the next generation of European innovators.
“Every year, the EIT Awards raises the bar for groundbreaking innovations emerging from the EIT Community and this year is no exception. As Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, the EIT has a special mission, to nurture the changemakers of tomorrow, and the EIT Awards showcases just that: innovations that address some of our biggest challenges. I look forward to seeing the nominees pitch their ideas, and I invite everyone to join us in person or online, to see the EIT Community in full action!” – Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chair of the EIT Governing Board
While the official ceremony of the EIT Awards will be held on the 20th, the semi-finals will be held on Feb. 14th, where the finalists will be selected by jury. The event will be live-streamed, and it will also kick off voting for the EIT Public Award, where anyone will be able to vote for their favourite nominee in the run-up to the finals.
Altogether there are 20 nominees, and there will be 4 winners – one for each of the three prize categories, and one chosen by the public. The event will also announce the semi-finalists of the first-ever European Prize for Women Innovators.
The Innovation Team Award
This award recognizes innovation teams, which are made up of researchers, academics, and entrepreneurs who have developed a breakthrough product or service. The nominees are:
- Altris – a team revolutionising battery technology through specialising in sodium-ion batteries.
- ASSIST – a healthcare startup that addresses acute myocardial infarction diagnosis using an end-to-end, AI-assisted solution.
- HiQ-CARB – a team that produces sustainable and resource-efficient nanomaterials for high-performance batteries, resulting in faster charging times and longer device lifespans.
- Biosimulytics – a team developing a quantum physics-based, AI/ML-powered pharmatech platform to improve the speed, scale, novelty, and success rate of drug development.
- RoboTwin – a smart technology that uses motion imitation to help workers transfer their specialised skills directly to robots, thus making it possible to automate complex tasks without programming.
- BREEZE – a project that addresses the challenge of sustainable production of Atlantic salmon to meet the growing global demand for protein.
The Changemaker Award
The award highlights a leader who has had an impact within the EIT Community and beyond. The nominees are:
- Alba Forns Albuixech – COO and co-founder of Climatize, an impact investing platform bridging the climate finance gap by making it easy, transparent, and accessible to invest in renewable energy projects and potentially earn a return.
- Axel Rimbaud – the creator of MEL - a Chilean road safety NGO, working to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road crashes to zero.
- Marnie McGregor – Board Chair of Greece's Ecogeni, which addresses youth unemployment but also propels sustainable development initiatives across Greece.
- Matthias Pideri – founder of Cyberbionix, a simulator for locomotor systems designed for surgical training, military orthopaedics, and space.
- Matyas Bekecs – passionate about transforming his farm into a lighthouse for regenerative farming, through a 3-year advisory programme, he aims to adapt regenerative agriculture theory to the Hungarian context.
- Mohamed Elamir – co-founder of Woamy, which specialises in cellulose-based biofoams that serve as a strong, insulating, shock-proof, and sustainable alternative to plastic foams.
The Venture Award
This award recognizes the startup considered to have the greatest potential for impact on society and the economy overall, addressing major societal challenges. The nominees are:
- Agrovar – precision agriculture software offering advanced tools for informed decision-making, and real-time crop monitoring and management, for regenerative farming and sustainable agriculture.
- Circu Li-ion – an automated and machine learning-powered battery upcycling process that disassembles batteries to the cell level, reduces recycling costs by 30 per cent, and cuts CO² emissions by up to 50 per cent.
- Enline – sensorless Digital Twin technology utilises advanced analytics and AI-driven algorithm to optimise power transmission asset monitoring, providing a 7-day forecast of operations and up to a year of predictive vegetation and landslides monitoring.
- inHEART – transforms cardiology through an AI-driven digital twin of the patient's heart, created from pre-operative CT and MRI scans. This innovation identifies intervention targets before procedures, enhancing precision medicine in cardiology.
- NUCAPS – developing a new generation of Health Inside functional ingredients through proprietary Microencapsulation technology with proteins.
- ReCatalyst – transforming hydrogen technology, focusing on Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) to overcome scalability and cost challenges tied to precious metals like platinum.
- Stilride – tackles inefficiency and the environmental impacts of sheet metal manufacturing by automating the curve folding process.
- W-Sense – real-time control and monitoring of underwater activities, bridging big data from the ocean to the cloud for sustainability-driven decision making.
Winners will be awarded prizes in each category, with the first place winner taking home €50,000, the second place €20,000, and third place €10,000. In addition to the three categories, the EIT Public Award will also be awarded and can go to any nominee in any category.
Be part of the EIT Awards 2024 and kick off #INNOVEIT
The public has the chance to get involved in the EIT Awards by watching the semi-final live stream on February 14th (or the recording that will be available), by voting for their favourite nominee for the EIT Public Award, and also by attending the awards grand finale themselves (in person or online) on February 20th. The event is free to attend, but interested attendees are invited to register in advance to guarantee their seats.
The awards will also feature the announcement of the finalists of the first European Prize for Women Innovators in partnership with the European Innovation Council (EIC), and kick off #INNOVEIT, the season of EIT events all across Europe. Find out more about the event.
Lead image: Winners from the last edition of the EIT Awards in 2022.