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Research and innovation

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018

Biographies of winners and finalists of the 2018 competition and award ceremony details.

Award Ceremony

At an award ceremony in Brussels, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and MEP Eva Kaili announced the four winners of the 2018 EU Prize for Women Innovators, funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

Read the News Alert with the full list of Winners.


1st Prize (€100,000): Gabriella Colucci (Italy)

The founder and CEO of ArterraBioscience, a research-based biotech company, focused on the discovery and production of active compounds for        industrial applications, in particular cosmetics and agriculture.

ArterraBioscience has developed 35 active ingredients for skin care applications, has filed 14 patents and has published 23 papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and specialist magazines.

Winner video

2nd Prize (€50,000): Alicia Asín Pérez (Spain)

The co-founder and CEO of Libelium a Spanish company in the hardware solutions market for the Internet of Things. Libelium's intelligent sensor technology allows users to monitor any object or environment - a "thing" and to send this information in real time wirelessly to the internet.

Winner video

3rd Prize (€30,000): Walburga Fröhlich (Austria)

Founder and CEO of atempo, a social business company. Today, atempo has grown to a social franchise network with more than 80 partners in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

It has invented services and products, which allow people with learning disabilities to enter the workforce as paid employees. The vision of this company is to change society's view of disabled people as needy fosterlings and to empower our society to manage diversity properly.

Winner video

Rising Innovator (€20,000): Karen Dolva (Norway)

Co-Founder of No Isolation, a company founded in October 2015 with the single purpose of creating tailored communications devices for groups that are socially isolated.

Winner video

Other finalists

Rima Balanaškienė (Lithuania) 

The founder and CEO of Aconitum, a company that develops and manufactures innovative herbal medicines and food supplements, which allow people to choose natural treatments to improve their quality of life.

Aconitum supports various organisations taking care of children, the elderly and socially vulnerable people.

Finalist video

Clare Bradley (United Kingdom)

Professor of Health Psychology, Head of the Health Psychology Research (HPRU) and CEO of HPR Ltd at Royal Holloway, University of London. With national and international funding from research institutes, charities and industry, she designed and developed innovative quality of life and other patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).

Clare founded HPR Ltd in 2003, to drive linguistic validation and licensing of her PROMs. Now validated in more than 120 languages, her measures are used worldwide in clinical trials and clinical practice to assess outcomes important to patients.

Finalist video

Martine Caroff (France)

The Founder, CSO and Chairwoman of LPS-BioSciences, an innovative start up in Biotechnology, specialized in bacterial endotoxins. LPS-BioSciences provides services, products and research, to help companies in the human and animal health sector manage endotoxins issues. Fields of application include the vaccine industry, in vitro diagnostic, cosmetic, and medical devices.

Finalist video

Maria-Pau Ginebra (Spain)

Co-founder and President of Mimetis, a spin-off company from the Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering research group of the Technical University of Catalonia (BBT-UPC).

Mimetis is a company that can design and manufacture a new generation of disruptive synthetic biomaterials that outperform existing solutions e.g. the first biomimetic biomaterial for bone regeneration in dental, cranio-maxillofacial and orthopaedic applications.


María Luisa Hernández Latorre (Spain)

Co-Founder and CEO of Ingelia  a technology-based company situated in Valencia (Spain). Ingelia develops sustainable projects, based on using local resources through an innovative process of hydrothermal carbonisation of biomass (HTC process) which has been industrially developed by Ingelia.

This allows the transformation of organic waste into carbon materials for other applications in bioindustry.


Séverine Sigrist (France)

Founder of Defymed, a French company that develops innovative medical devices aimed at treating patients physiologically in order to improve the comfort and clinical effectiveness of their treatment.

Defymed is a spin-off of the European centre for diabetes studies (CeeD), which began working on a BioArtificial Pancreas (BAP) in 1996. Today, Defymed focuses on diabetes, which is considered to be one of the major epidemics of the 21st century. There are currently two medical devices being developed by Defymed which are at an advanced preclinical trial phase: MailPan and ExOlin.


Rising Innovator category

Anna Fiscale (Italy)

Founder and President of QUID Project, a social enterprise that works to reintegrate people who may be fragile into the job market. The project produces clothing and accessories made from surplus Italian textile.


Zoi Giavri (Greece)

Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Research of Advantis, a medical company that offers a highly sophisticated, web-based and user friendly post-processing and 3D visualisation software suite – Brainance.

It is used to process 3 different brain MRI exams: Diffusion, Perfusion and Functional MRI.

So far, Brainance has been bought by healthcare organisations in Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. Advantis makes advanced medical imaging more accessible and affordable to the healthcare ecosystem to achieve a more timely and accurate diagnosis.