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Research and innovation

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020

Biographies of finalists of the 2020 competition.

Awards Ceremony

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, revealed the four winners of this year’s edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators. The prize is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. The winners, chosen by a jury of independent experts, were announced at the European Research and Innovation Days 2020. Congratulations to these successful entrepreneurs.

News alert: EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020: And the winners are...



Madiha Derouazi (Switzerland), founder and CEO of Amal Therapeutics, a company developing therapeutic cancer vaccines.

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Maria Fátima Lucas (Portugal), co-founder and CEO of Zymvol Biomodeling, a company developing computer-designed industrial enzymes by applying molecular modelling.

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Arancha Martínez (Spain), co-founder and Managing Director of It Will Be. Her company helps tackle poverty through technological innovation, providing support to vulnerable women and children.

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Rising Innovator: Josefien Groot (Netherlands), co-founder and CEO of Qlayers. Her company is developing microstructures to boost the efficiency of wind turbines.

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Special Mentions


Women Innovators: Cécile Real (France), co-founder and CEO of Endodiag. Her company develops early diagnosis solutions for endometriosis, a disease affecting 180 million women worldwide.

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Rising Innovator Ailbhe Keane (Ireland), founder and creative director of Izzy Wheels. Her company creates fashionable wheel covers for wheelchairs.

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Rising Innovator Special Mention Rebecca Saive (Germany), co-founder and CTO of ETC Solar, a company developing a micro metal 3D printing tool to improve the performance of solar cells.

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Other finalists

The other finalists in the main category are:

Anita Finnegan (Ireland), co-founder and CEO of Nova Leah, a company offering cybersecurity risk management solutions for medical device manufacturers.
Anita Schjøll Brede (Norway/Denmark), co-founder of, an AI-based search engine for reading scientific research.
Belinda Cowling (France), co-founder and CSO of Dynacure, a clinical-stage drug development company developing therapy for rare and orphan muscle diseases.
Caroline Walerud (Sweden), co-founder and Executive Chairman of Volumental. Her company helps people find and create perfect fitting footwear through 3D scanning and AI.
Galit Zuckerman Stark (Israel), founder and CEO of Medasense, a company developing sensor-based personalised pain management technology.
Inna Braverman (Israel), founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power. Her company develops an innovative technology to generate clean electricity from ocean and sea waves.
Judit Cubedo (Spain), co-founder and CEO of GlyCardial Diagnostics, a company improving the early diagnosis of cardiac ischemic events.
Magdalena Król (Poland), co-founder of Cellis, a company developing cell-based immunotherapy for solid tumours.
Neus Sabaté (Spain), co-founder and Scientific Adviser at Fuelium, a company developing paper-based eco-friendly batteries for portable diagnostic devices.

The other finalists in the Rising Innovator category are:

Evelina Vågesjö (Sweden), co-founder and CEO of Ilya Pharma. Her company is developing next-generation biological drugs for treating wounds in skin and mucosa.
Iris Braun (Germany), co-founder of share, a consumer goods brand based on the 1+1 model: for every share product sold, a person in need receives an equivalent product.
Stefanie Flueckiger-Mangual (Switzerland), co-founder and CEO of TOLREMO Therapeutics. The company is developing next-generation resistance-preventing combination therapies for cancer.
Valentina Menozzi & Alice Michelangeli (Italy), co-founders and respectively CTO and CSO of Prometheus. These two women innovators submitted one joint application for the Prize. Their company is developing a biotech automated wound care system based on the use of patient’s blood.