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Research and innovation

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017

Biographies of finalists of the 2017 contest and award ceremony details. 


1st prize: Michela Magas (United Kingdom and Croatia)

Founder of Stromatolite, Design Innovation Labs in Sweden and UK, building a new generation of incubation and creative technology toolkits for innovation.

2nd prize: Petra Wadström (Sweden)

Founder of Solvatten, which produces a portable water purifier and water heater that are powered by solar energy.

2nd prize video

3rd prize: Claudia Gärtner (Germany)

Founder of microfluidic ChipShop, which provides “lab-on-a-chip” systems as miniaturised solutions for better diagnostics.

3rd prize video

Rising Innovator 2017: Kristina Tsvetanova (Bulgaria)

CEO and co-founder of the Austrian company BLITAB Technology, has produced the first tablet for blind users.

Rising Innovator prize video

Award Ceremony

The 4 winners of the 2017 EU Prize for Women Innovators were announced at a ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels on 8 March, International Women's Day.

The winners received their prizes from Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament.

Other finalists

Gema Climent (France)

Founder, director and the only administrator of Nesplora technology and behaviour. Nesplora is a company with the objective of analysing human behaviour using emerging technologies.

Nesplora has revolutionised the evaluation of behaviour and cognition, making it more scientific, functional and objective. 

Finalist video

Barbara Demeneix (Italy)

Professor of Physiology at the Natural History Museum in Paris, where she studies evolution of hormone systems.

She invented and brought to market the first method for screening chemicals and environmental samples using genetically-engineered fluorescent embryos. She co-founded WatchFrog, a company marketing biological tests for screening chemicals and assessing water quality.

Finalist Video

Mary Franzese (Italy)

Co-founded Neuron Guard, a start-up that is developing a life-saving medical device for brain damage directly at the site of the event.

She dreams of being "Chief Love Officer" of a company where gender equality and the inclusion act as master and a leader in the development of standard of care technologies for therapeutic temperature management.

Finalist video

Gemma Galdon Clavell (Spain)

Policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impact of data-intensive technologies. She is the Founder and Director of Eticas Research and Consulting, a rapidly-growing organisation with an international presence that brings together social scientists, computer scientists and IT experts to tackle the challenges of the data society.

Using its own Data Impact Framework, Eticas works with public and private bodies to build values into technological solutions and policies. 


África González Fernández (Spain)

Professor in Immunology and Director of the Biomedical Research Center (CINBIO) at the University of Vigo in Spain. She is also co-founder of the company NanoImmunoTech, the first European company dealing with biomedical characterisation and synthesis of nanomaterials, bioconjugation and biosensing.

Finalist video

Kamila Markram (Germany)

Neuroscientist at the EPFL and the co-founder and CEO of Frontiers.

Frontiers is a digital-age scholarly publishing company with a mission to bring Open Access publishing and Open Science IT solutions to academics and the general public.

In 2014, Frontiers received the ALPSP Gold Award for Innovation in Publishing. In 2016, Kamila was named a L’Hebdo Forum 100 personality, a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and recipient of the Gold Stevie Award for Women in Business.

Finalist video

Sandra Rey (France)

Sandra co-founded Glowee which develops a biological lighting system that works thanks to the natural properties of bacteria to revolutionise the way we produce, consume and illuminate.

It was watching a TV programme about deep-sea bioluminescent creatures that she had the idea to use those super-powers to revolutionise the way we illuminate our cities, keeping an optimistic but realistic vision on the mutation of energy models for tomorrow. 

Finalist video

Isabel Trillas Gay (Spain)

Full Professor at the Faculty of Biology, Universitat de Barcelona and has co-founded the spin-off Biocontrol Technologies, S.L. for the development (from the isolation to market) of her discovery, a pesticide based on the natural microorganism, Trichoderma asperellum strain T34, to control crop diseases. In Biocontrol Technologies she is partner, member of the direction committee and Scientific Adviser.

Finalist video