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Women Innovators Prize 2019 opens for applications

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The European Commission launched today the sixth edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators. The Prize sheds light on the outstanding work of female entrepreneurs who have brought their ideas to market, and aims to inspire the next generation of innovators.

The contest is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Three prizes of €100 000 each will be awarded in the main category, "Women Innovators". A special prize of €50 000 will be given to a "Rising Innovator", an exceptional entrepreneur at the beginning of her career (35 years old or younger).

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, launched the competition at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

Commissioner Moedas said: "More and more women are now coming to research, innovation and business, but we want more of them to create innovative enterprises. The past editions of the Women Innovators Prize have brought to light the incredible ideas and hard work of excellent women entrepreneurs. I look forward to seeing many more inspirational candidates applying in next year's edition of the competition which we launch today. "

Commissioner Jourová said: "Winners of the Women Innovator Prize are an inspiration for many other women and true role models showing the courage to pursue their ideas and dreams. On the EU side, we are doing what we can to support their success."

The contest is open to women across the EU (and countries associated to Horizon 2020) who have founded or co-founded their existing and active company before 1 January 2017. More information on eligibility and award criteria is available online.

Deadline for applications is 16 January 2019. A jury of independent experts will evaluate and select the four winners, who will be announced in the spring 2019.


Europe needs more innovators to stay competitive in the coming decades and to spur economic growth. Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises. This is an untapped potential for Europe, which needs to optimise all available resources to remain competitive and find solutions to our societal challenges. That is why the Commission created a Prize for Women Innovators in 2011 to increase public awareness of this issue and to encourage women innovators to exploit the commercial and business opportunities and become entrepreneurs.

Source: European Commission

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