Bringing together over 250 entrepreneurs and innovators from around Europe, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has just held its EIT Innovation Forum, known as INNOVEIT 2016, in Budapest, Hungary over two days from Monday, 25 April to Tuesday, 26 April 2016.
And a key part of the INNOVEIT 2016 forum was the EIT Awards at which the winners across three award categories were announced. These awards are given annually as part of a much broader programme by EIT to encourage entrepreneurship and to promote innovation.
The EIT Venture Award is given to highlight successful entrepreneurial start-ups that have been supported by the EIT innovation communities through a dedicated business creation or business development process. The Venture Award winner was Florian Schneider who is based in the Netherlands and who co-founded Nerdalize to heat houses with computer power. Nerdalize was supported by Climate-KIC and, through an accelerator programme, has been able to bring their project to the stage of conducting a 5-home pilot, and are now ready to up-scale production.
The EIT Change Award recognises graduates from EIT-recognised education programmes who, through innovation and entrepreneurship, bring about change in any of EIT-selected thematic areas. Allen Ali Mohammadi, who was awarded the Change Award, has through his company, Hippogriff, “developed an accurate, non-invasive and inexpensive tool for the screening and early diagnosis of heart disease” for use by doctors and which allows patients to “become more aware of, and involved in, their own health”. Hippogriff was supported by KIC InnoEnergy.
And the EIT Innovators Award recognises innovation teams composed of individuals from across business, higher education and research sectors, that have developed a product, service or process with a high potential for societal and economic impact. The Innovators Award 2016 was presented to Dutch-based Norbert Kuipers for developing a system, with the support of for clean water production and indoor air control using that uses waste and renewable heat.
EIT was set up in 2008 by the European Union as an independent body to assist in bolstering Europe’s innovation and entrepreneurship capabilities. EIT encourages the formation of Knowledge and Innovation Communities, known as KICs, that are autonomous partnerships between higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders to connect innovation hubs and nurture entrepreneurial and innovative people.
Images provided courtesy of EIT.