EU announces prize for women innovators

The European Commission has launched a contest to recognise and reward women that have created outstanding innovations and developed their ideas from drawing board to the market.

The EU Prize for Women Innovators will be awarded to three women entrepreneurs, who were at some point during their careers beneficiaries of funding for projects under the Framework Programme (FP) or the Competitive and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

The idea behind the prize is to raise awareness of the crucial role innovation plays in modern life and highlight valuable contributions from women researchers. The Commission hopes that recognising the work of female entrepreneurs will inspire other women to follow suit.

The panel of independent judges, drawn from industry and academia, will consider innovative work in any field or business. The jury will award three prizes:

  • 1st prize: €100,000

  • 2nd prize: €50,000

  • 3rd prize: €25,000

The competition is open to women residing in a EU member state or countries associated with the FP for research. Contestants must be founders, or co-founders, of active companies registered before 1 January 2009 and with annual turnovers in excess of €100,000. Either the contestant or the company must have received funding under the FP or CIP programmes.

The deadline for applications is 20 September 2011 at 17:00 (Brussels local time). The award ceremony will take place on 5 December 2011 at the Innovation Convention organised by the European Commission in Brussels.

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