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European Innovation Council
News article21 November 20223 min read

14 outstanding finalists in the running for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022

14 of the most inspiring women entrepreneurs working in Europe today are in the shortlist for the ninth edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators.

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022 - finalists

The EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women responsible for Europe’s most groundbreaking innovations, from tackling climate change to treating the world’s deadliest diseases.

This contest is funded by the European Innovation Council, under Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme. Three prizes worth €100 000 each will be awarded to the most inspiring women innovators. In addition, to mark the European Year of Youth, the EU will award three further prizes worth €50 000 euros each to promising emerging innovators under 35.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

Supporting Europe’s women entrepreneurs is good for growth, is good for people, and is good for our planet. This year’s finalists are pioneering ground-breaking innovations that could help revolutionise healthcare, develop more human-centered artificial intelligence and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The eight finalists competing in the Women Innovators category are:

  • Rocío Arroyo (Spain), co-founder and CEO of AMADIX, a company providing personalized medicine solutions for cancer diagnosis.
  • Dr Ciara Clancy (Ireland), founder and CEO of Beats Medical, a company developing technology solutions to tackle the mobility symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Dr Lorena Diéguez, Dr Sara Abalde-Cela and Paulina Piairo (Portugal), co-founders and respectively CEO, CTO and COO of RUBYnanomed, a company developing a non-invasive cancer progression monitoring device.
  • Dr Ninna Granucci (France), co-founder and President of Green Spot Technologies, a company producing food ingredients intended to recycle waste.
  • Natalia Tomiyama (Germany), co-founder and Managing Director of NÜWIEL, a company producing e-powered bicycle trailers.
  • Maria Vircikova (Slovakia), co-founder and CEO of MATSUKO, a company developing a holographic presence app for an immersive communication experience.

The six finalists competing in the Rising Innovators category (for under 35s) are:

  • Zarah Bruhn (Germany), co-founder and CEO of socialbee, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting companies in employing refugees.
  • Niamh Donnelly (Ireland), co-founder and CRO of Akara Robotics, a company developing robotic solutions designed for disinfecting hospital rooms.
  • Dr Alicja Dzieciol (Poland), co-founder and Director of SilviBio, a company developing novel products to minimise the harmful effects of water scarcity on tree seeds and seedlings.
  • Iva Gumnishka (Bulgaria), founder and CEO of Humans in the Loop, a social enterprise connecting conflict-affected communities to digital work opportunities.
  • Victoria Mandefield (France), founder and CEO of Solinum, a social enterprise developing a digital tool that references all services, initiatives and resources useful for those in need.
  • Dr Mehak Mumtaz (Portugal), co-founder and COO of iLoF, a company developing a breakthrough AI-platform to accelerate the future of personalized drug discovery and development.

The winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022 will be announced at the European Innovation Council Summit taking place on 7 and 8 December 2022. At the same event, the Commission will award the European Capital of Innovation Awards, and the European Innovation Procurement Awards.


In Europe today, three quarters of startups are founded by men, while only 8% are founded by all-women teams.

Achieving a Union of Equality that promotes gender equality in all spheres of life, is one of the major priorities of the European Commission. The Commission is working with Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe to overcome the barriers to women entrepreneurship and help create fair, inclusive and prosperous innovation ecosystems in Europe.

First launched in 2011, the EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more women innovators, and create role models for women and girls everywhere.

The prize is awarded to the most talented women entrepreneurs from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market. The prize is managed by the European Innovation Council and the SME Executive Agency and the winners are chosen by an independent jury of experts.

Since 2011, over 30 women scientists and entrepreneurs have been awarded the EU Prize for Women Innovators, and a further 100 women have been shortlisted for the final. These women have become role models for women and girls, breaking down barriers and changing the narrative about women in leadership.


Publication date
21 November 2022


EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2022
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
EISMEA-WIPatec [dot] europa [dot] eu