Two female founders from Ireland – Finalists of European Prize for Women Innovators 2024.

21st February 2024

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Ten finalists for the European Prize for Women Innovators were announced yesterday at the EIT Summit, with two from Ireland. The winners will be revealed at the R&I Week opening event in Tour & Taxis, situated in the heart of Brussels on 18 March 2024.

The European Prize for Women Innovators’ winners will be awarded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) who together are giving visibility to an even larger pool of women candidates, offering more opportunities to more innovators and more inspiring role models for women and girls everywhere.

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, congratulated the finalists and said:

“From creating entirely new alternatives to our current food system to medical technology that improves cancer treatment, these women produced game-changing innovation. I hope that this will inspire more women in Europe and beyond to pursue a career in innovation and lead the way.”

The Categories and Finalists

Rising Innovators include promising young women innovators under the age of 35. The winner receives €50k, and two runners-up €30k and €20k respectively.

In this category, Bárbara Oliveira (Ireland) is one of four finalists. Bárbara is Co-Founder and CTO of Luminate Medical, whose technology helps prevent the side effects of cancer treatment.

Others shortlisted alongside Bárbara include Sara Correyero Plaza and María González Manso, both from Spain and Eva Sadoun from France.

The EIT Women Leadership category is for exceptional members of the EIT Community. The winner receives €50k, and two runners-up €30k and €20k respectively.

In this category, Cristina Purtill (Ireland) is one of three finalists. Cristina is CEO of Plio Surgical, which has developed a magnetic solution to intestinal post-surgery recovery.

Also in this category are Julia Bialetska (Estonia) and Deniz Ficicioglu (Germany).

The final category is Women Innovators – for all women founders and co-founders across the EU and associated countries. The winner will receive €100k and two runners-up €70k and €50k respectively.

In the Women Innovators category, there are three finalists: Elena García Armada (Spain), Rana Sanyal (Türkiye) and Natalia Tomiyama (Germany).

Inclusion Matters in the World of Innovation

Women are an important source of talent that too often are discouraged or turned away from the world of tech. The EIT’s own study in association with Dealroom revealed that inclusivity unlocks Europe’s potential for innovation. In fact, it found that

women-founded tech scale-ups grew 1.2x faster than their competitors over the past five years showing the degree of potential Europe can tap if it makes tech more inclusive to women.

By contrast, excluding women is a huge risk the tech world cannot afford to make.

Studies already show that without women’s perspectives and inclusion in the creation of cutting-edge tech, sectors like AI could actually fail to meet people’s real needs and instead reproduce the inequities and harms already present in our status quo.

The joint European Prize for Women Innovators is now the latest in a series of steps the EIC and EIT are taking to make sure Europe can make the most of inclusive innovation. It won’t just decide winners and who gets prizes – it will connect women innovators, give them a chance to network and build out a community, and help boost the future number of women in leadership roles by normalising the idea of women in charge.

You can find out more here>>