Friday, 10 March 2017

Two Catalan researchers finalists at EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017


Brussels (CNA).- In celebration of International Women's Day, the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation awarded outstanding women entrepreneurs at a ceremony held in the European Parliament, in Brussels. Two Catalan researchers, Gemma Galdon and Isabel Trillas were amongst the finalists. The former is a policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impacts of data-intensive technologies while the latter is full Professor at the Faculty of Biology at Universitat de Barcelona and developed a pesticide based on a natural microorganism to control crop diseases. The winners were Michela Magas, Petra Wadström, Claudia Gärtner and Kristina Tsvetanova. “The innovations that the four winners have brought from idea to market are remarkable not only from a business point of view but also because they will benefit and improve the lives of many people in Europe and beyond”, said Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

The initiative is promoted by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation together with the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and aims to demonstrate “the significant contribution of women innovators in bringing many life-changing innovations to the market”, Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament explained. The shortlist contained

“Europe needs more women innovators like them, with great ideas and the courage and determination to take risks and succeed”, stated Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

Croatian-British researcher Michela Magas was awarded first prize (€100,000). She is founder of Stromatolite, a UK Design Innovation Lab with a studio in Sweden, building a new generation of incubation and creative technology toolkits for innovation.

Second prize went to Petra Wadström from Sweden, founder of Solvatten, which produces a portable water purifier and water heater powered by solar energy.

German researcher Claudia Gärtner won the third prize. Gärtner is founder of microfluidic ChipShop, which provides “lab-on-a-chip” systems as miniaturised solutions for better diagnostics.

 For the first time, this year's contest includes three finalists in a new category, the Rising Inovator, to recognise excellence in female entrepreneurs aged 30 years or under. The first winner of the prize worth €20,000 is Ms Kristina Tsvetanova from Bulgaria, who is CEO and co-founder of the Austrian company, BLITAB Technology, which has produced the first tablet for blind users, called BLITAB.

Two Catalan researchers amongst the finalists

Gemma Galdon and Isabel Trillas were amongst the finalists and as such took part in a discussion on innovation and entrepreneurship at the Unconvention 2017 in Brussels.

Galdon is a policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impacts of data-intensive technologies. She is the Founder and Director of Eticas Research and Consulting, a rapidly-growing organisation with 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. Eticas helps clients tackle the challenges and opportunities of the data society by building values into the design process of new technologies and policies. The company has received EU funding from both Horizon 2020 and the 7th Framework Programme for Research.

Isabel Trillas is 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 isolation to market) of her discovery, a pesticide based on the natural microorganism, Trichoderma spirillum strain T34, to control crop diseases. In Biocontrol Technologies she is partner, member of the direction committee and Scientific Adviser. In 2016 the company was awarded a Seal of Excellence under Horizon 2020's SME Instrument Phase I.

  • twitter_800_wip-2015

  • EU Prize for Woman Innovators poster (by European Commission)