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Research and innovation
News article11 February 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020 opens for applications

The European Commission launched today the seventh edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators. The Prize celebrates female leaders in innovation and aims to inspire the next generation to follow their footsteps.

The contest is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Three “Women Innovators" will each receive €100,000, and another €50,000 will be awarded to a “Rising Innovator”, an exceptional entrepreneur at the beginning of her career.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, opened the competition today on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Commissioner Gabriel said:

Long-standing gender biases and stereotypes, as well as lack of visible role models, continue to steer girls and women away from science and technology related careers. We need to do much more to give visibility to European women who have made key contributions to science, research, innovation, and beyond. The EU Prize for Women Innovators rewards talent and contributes to creating an inclusive and empowering Europe.

The contest is open to women across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020 who have founded or co-founded an existing and active company before 1 January 2018. More information on eligibility and award criteria is available online.

Deadline for applications is 21 April 2020. A jury of independent experts will evaluate and select the four winners, who will be announced in the second half of the year.


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.

More information

Online application (Deadline: 21 April 2020, 17:00 Brussels time)

Follow us on #WiPrizeEU


Publication date
11 February 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation