Meet the 2018 finalists of the Women Innovators 2018 EU contest

Twelve successful women entrepreneurs who have brought their breakthrough ideas to the market have made it to the shortlist for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018.

On the occasion of International Women’s day, Commissioner Moedas unveiled the names of the twelve successful women entrepreneurs who were shortlisted for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018.

” On this day, the world shouts about the importance of gender equality. For me, the battle must be won on many fronts. And two of our strongest tools to empower women are science and innovation. This is the true spirit of the EU Prize for Women Innovators.”



Each finalist founded or co-founded a successful company based on her innovative ideas or project. Nine out of twelve finalists are in the running for three prizes in the Women Innovator category. Three other finalists are competing in the Rising Innovators category, which recognises excellent female entrepreneurs under the age of 30.


Alicia ASIN PEREZ (ES) is the co-founder and CEO of Libelium a leading Spanish company in the hardware solutions market for the Internet of Things. Libelium’s intelligent sensor technology allows users to monitor any object or environment, and to send this information in real time wirelessly to the Internet. It means that it allows “things” to communicate with the Internet.


Rima BALANASKIENE (LT) is the founder and CEO of Aconitum , a company that develops and manufactures innovative herbal medicines and food supplement, which allow people to choose natural treatments to improve their quality of life. Aconitum supports various organizations taking care of children, the elderly and socially vulnerable people.


Clare BRADLEY (UK) is Professor of Health Psychology, Head of the Health Psychology Research (HPRU) and CEO of HPR Ltd at Royal Holloway, University of London. With national and international funding from research institutes, charities and industry, she designed and developed innovative quality of life and other patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Clare founded HPR Ltd in 2003, to drive linguistic validation and licensing of her PROMs. Now validated in >120 languages, her measures are used worldwide in clinical trials and clinical practice to assess outcomes important to patients.


Martine CAROFF (FR) is the Founder, CSO and Chairwoman of LPS-BioSciences, an innovative start up in Biotechnology, specialized in bacterial endotoxins. LPS-BioSciences provides services, products and research, to help companies in the human and animal health sector manage endotoxins issues. Fields of application include the vaccine industry, in vitro diagnostic, cosmetic, and medical devices.


Gabriella COLUCCI (IT) is the founder and CEO of ArterraBioscience, a research-based biotech company, focused on the discovery and production of active compounds for industrial applications, in particular Cosmetics and Agriculture. ArterraBioscience has developed 35 active ingredients for skin care applications, has filed 14 patents and has published 23 papers on peer-reviewed international scientific journals and specialist magazines.


Walburga FRÖHLICH (AT) is the founder and CEO of atempo, a social business company. Today, atempo has grown to a social franchise network with more than 80 partners in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It has invented services and products, which allow people with learning disabilities to enter the workforce as paid employees. The vision of this company is to change society’s view of disabled people as needy fosterlings and to empower our society to manage diversity properly.


Maria-Pau GINEBRA (ES) is the co-founder and President of Mimetis, a spin-off company from the Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering research group of the Technical University of Catalonia (BBT-UPC). Mimetis is a company able to design and manufacture a new generation of disruptive synthetic biomaterials that outperform existing solutions: for example the first biomimetic biomaterial for bone regeneration, for dental, cranio-maxillofacial and orthopaedic applications.


María Luisa HERNÁNDEZ LATORRE (ES) is the co-Founder and CEO of Ingelia  a technology-based company situated in Valencia (Spain). Ingelia develops sustainable projects, based on using local resources through an innovative process of hydrothermal carbonization of biomass (HTC process) which has been industrially developed by Ingelia. Ingelia. This allows the transformation of organic waste into carbon materials for other applications in the bioindustry.


Séverine SIGRIST (FR) is the Founder of Defymed, a French SME that develops innovative medical devices aimed at treating patients physiologically in order to improve the clinical effectiveness of their treatment as well as their comfort. Defymed is a spin-off of the European centre for diabetes studies (CeeD), which began working on a BioArtificial Pancreas (BAP) in 1996. Today, Defymed focuses on diabetes, which is considered to be one of the major epidemics of the 21st century. There are currently two medical devices being developed by Defymed which are at an advanced preclinical trial phase: MailPan® and ExOlin®.


The three finalists in the category “Rising Innovator” are:


Karen DOLVA (NO) is the co-Founder of No Isolation was founded in October 2015 with the single purpose of fighting involuntary social isolation and loneliness by creating tailored communications devices for groups that are socially isolated and lonely.


Anna FISCALE (IT) is the Founder  and President of QUID Project, a social enterprise that works for the reintegration of people, with a past of fragility, in the production process of clothing and accessories, starting from remains and left overs.


Zoi GIAVRI (EL) is the co-Founder, CEO and Head of Research of Advantis, a medical company that offers a highly sophisticated, web-based and user friendly post-processing and 3D visualization software suite – Brainance – for the processing of three different brain MRI exams: Diffusion, Perfusion and Functional MRI. So far, Brainance has been purchased by healthcare organizations in Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. Advantis makes advanced medical imaging more accessible and affordable to the healthcare ecosystem in order to achieve a more timely and accurate diagnosis.


The European Commission launched this contest on the 6th september 2017. Read the EPWS announcement here.


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