Up to 12 European finalists will vie for the title of EU Women Innovators of 2017 with the main prize at €100,000 on Women's Day this year.
The prize will be awarded in Brussels and is designed to raise public awareness about the need for more innovation and more women entrepreneurs, and to recognise the success of women in innovation. Although women are increasingly active in research, there are still too few of them who create innovative enterprises.
The Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said the 12 finalists were all talented innovators with interesting stories to tell about breaking through barriers, taking risks and succeeding.
"Their stories can inspire other women and men to become innovators," he said. "In this new edition of the contest, we also want to encourage the next generation and give special recognition to the achievements of young, innovative entrepreneurs."
Three cash prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000 will be awarded in the main Women Innovators category and one prize of €20,000 will be awarded to the first ever winner of the Rising Innovator Award. The winners will be announced on 8 March 2017 at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of the celebrations for International Women's Day.
Ambassador Fabrizi said the prize reflects the EU's determination to support female innovators and hoped this would encourage women around the world to become more involved in innovative entrepreneurial endeavours.
"The European Union is providing leadership in funding innovation around the world, through the EU's $A120b a seven-year program Horizon 2020 program," he said. "So far, there are 87 Horizon 2020 projects involving Australians worth more than $A600m. Australia's best and brightest innovators are invited to make the most of it. This is a great opportunity to increase the number of Australian female researches and innovators in this programme."
Ambassador Fabrizi said innovation and research would also feature prominently in the upcoming European Union-Australia Leadership Forum to be held in Sydney in June. He said emerging leaders in the innovation space would be particularly welcome.
The EU Women Innovators Prize Award Ceremony will be livestreamed at this location online:
European Union and Australia support innovation
The Horizon 2020 Framework Program is organised to support excellent science; industrial leadership; and societal challenges. If you are an Australian researcher or company and want to learn more please visit: Horizon 2020 – the opportunities for Australian researchers.
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