Budapest, Hungary, 25 July 2018 – Celebrating a touch of genius, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announces the 41 nominees for the EIT Awards 2018. All across Europe, excellence is accelerating, with women entrepreneurs making up more than 40% of the nominees.
The Awards ceremony will be held in Budapest on 4 October during the EIT’s annual Innovation Forum, INNOVEIT. The 41 nominees represent the most promising entrepreneurs and innovators in Europe. Each nominee has been selected for driving European innovation through ground-breaking products, projects and services that tackle global challenges in the fields of climate, energy, digitalisation, food, health and raw materials.
This year’s nominees come from: Austria (1), Belgium (3), Bulgaria (1), Canada (1), China (2), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), Egypt (2), Estonia (1), France (4), Germany (2), Greece (2), Hungary (3), Iceland (1), Italy (5), Latvia (1), Mexico (1), Spain (3), Sweden (2), Switzerland (1), The Netherlands (1), United Kingdom (1) and the United States (1).
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport responsible for the EIT, said: 'I am pleased that the EIT is so successful in training innovators, helping young people make the most of their talents while tackling the big challenges facing our society. Driving change, bringing together business, higher education and research, the EIT is helping us build bridges for more effective cooperation between East and West, North and South - a truly European effort. I am proud of the entrepreneurs now competing globally, helping us create a resilient, open-minded Europe for the future. The EIT Awards are a celebration of this European success and global ambition'.
The 2018 EIT Awards nominees have been selected from the most successful graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators supported by the EIT Community as part of its drive to tackle global challenges. The nominees compete in four categories: EIT CHANGE, EIT Innovators and EIT Venture, and, for the first time, the EIT Woman Award. The EIT Woman Award is a recognition of the excellence and ability of Europe’s women entrepreneurs and leaders, and a spotlight to encourage the positive trend of more women in innovation. The 41 nominees will now go through to a final selection for the four awards, with the winners announced at the EIT Awards ceremony in Budapest on 4 October.
Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board, added: ‘The EIT has grown into a success story, setting-up Europe’s largest, most connected innovation ecosystem with more than 1000 leading partners, including many of Europe’s top businesses, universities and research centres successfully co-operating. Our innovation hubs grow ground-breaking ideas that become products and services. This has resulted in nurturing more than 1 250 start-ups and scale-ups that have raised in excess of 890 million EUR in external investment and created over 6 100 highly skilled jobs. The Awards are a reflection of this thriving network.’
Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director, concluded: ‘The EIT Awards are a window on Europe’s future as the EIT Community provides solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. These innovations presented by our nominees can help Europe to compete, thrive and succeed. The Awards showcase some of Europe’s brightest talents; at the EIT, we are proud to support these exceptional individuals and outstanding teams.’
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