This €5 million prize is run under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, and will reward the best, proven, cost-effective, tech-based solutions for humanitarian aid. It is divided into five categories: shelter and related assistance; water, hygiene and sanitation; energy; health and medical care; and an “open” category. Technologies can include nanotechnologies, advanced materials or 3D printing.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
“This Prize represents the Commission’s commitment to promote innovation and technologies that can improve people’s lives, in particular the most vulnerable. The solutions put forward also demonstrate that technologies can be applied in an inclusive and affordable manner. I am happy to see that the Prize attracted new applicants from the EU and across the world.”
Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said:
“Faced with mounting crises and new challenges, such as COVID-19, innovation is vital for humanitarians to continue to reach people most in need. These low-cost yet high tech innovations can be valuable tools for our humanitarian partners, and help ensure EU aid is delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
The twelve finalists, divided by category, are:
Shelter and related assistance
- LHP by Lumkani, a low-cost solution to provide community wide alerts for fires occurring in slums, informal settlements and refugee camps.
Water, hygiene and sanitation
- LORAWAN monitoring by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), real-time solutions for water tanker and water reservoir remote monitoring to improve the effectiveness of water trucking programming globally.
- WATER4HUMANITY by Tel Aviv University, a new circular economy solution allowing ultra-filtration of water using discarded “artificial kidney” filters.
- BIOGAS by HomeBiogas, a waste management solution for populations most in need involving off-grid energy creation and safe sanitation, with a minimized environmental impact.
- BRIGHT Move by Bright Products AS, providing refugees with more light and faster thanks to an affordable and recyclable phone charging combined with a solar lantern and featuring a “whitestock” (supply depot) deployable within 72 hours.
- PowHumLeb by Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis, a solar and wind generator backpack enabling people to safely operate their own mini power station.
Health and medical care
- ICRC prosthetic foot by International Committee of the Red Cross, providing people with mobility needs in humanitarian settings with a biomechanically performant, custom, and affordable foot.
- Stop TB by Friz Biochem GMBH, fast quality diagnostics accessible to anyone, allowing for right treatment at the right time, in particular for tuberculosis.
- TeReFa by Association Federation Handicap International, affordable and high quality prosthetic and orthotic devices produced through digital and 3D scanning and printing technologies.
- BSF by Bibliothèque sans Frontières association, an offline internet solution providing a set of breakthrough innovations (hardware, software, rich-media content, capacity-building) that can bring the advantages of the internet to unconnected populations.
- DM4DR by Field Ready, enabling localised and affordable digital manufacturing of humanitarian aid supplies by providing the necessary high-tech tools in order to improve local resilience and support faster and cheaper humanitarian aid.
- Odyssey2025 by Association Federation Handicap International, to improve the efficiency and safety of land release process in humanitarian mine action, while reducing costs and ensuring sustainability using frugal and innovative technology.
Fifty-two applications in total were submitted in the five categories. The contest is open to the world and 59% of the applicants are based outside the EU. Over 50% are newcomers to the Horizon 2020 programme.
The winners – one per category – will receive €1 million each. They will be announced in September during the European Research and Innovation Days, a 100% virtual event accessible online. In addition, the Commission will award the European Capital of Innovation 2020, the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020 and the Horizon Impact Award 2020 during the event.
EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC). They aim to trigger innovations in areas where important societal problems need to be solved. These Prizes call for breakthrough solutions that should demonstrate their feasibility or potential, so that innovators can take them quickly to the market. The EIC Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid was launched on 30 November 2017.
- Publication date
- 19 June 2020
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation