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European Innovation Council
News article20 February 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency3 min read

Ten finalists are in the running for the 2024 European Prize for Women Innovators

Ten finalists for the European Prize for Women Innovators were announced today at the EIT Summit. The winners will be revealed at the R&I Week Opening event on 18 March 2024.

A new prize jointly presented by the EIT and the EIC 

The European Prize for Women Innovators' winners will be awarded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) at the R&I Week opening. Together the EIT and EIC are giving visibility to an even larger pool of women candidates, offering more opportunities to more innovators and more inspiring role models for women and girls everywhere. 

The three categories’ contestants competing in are: 

  • Women Innovators, for all women founders and co-founders across the EU and Associated Countries. The winner will receive EUR 100 000, and two runners-up EUR 70 000 and EUR 50 000 respectively;
  • Rising Innovators for promising young women innovators under the age of 35. The winner receives EUR 50 000, and two runners-up EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively;
  • EIT Women Leadership for exceptional members of the EIT Community. The winner gets EUR 50 000, and two runners-up EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively.

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

My warmest congratulations to our finalists! I am deeply impressed by the ingenuity of those who made it this far. From creating entirely new alternatives to our current food system to medical technology that improves cancer treatment, these women produced game-changing innovation. I hope that this will inspire more women in Europe and beyond to pursue a career in innovation and lead the way.

Meet our finalists: 

In the Rising Innovators category: 

  • Sara Correyero Plaza (Spain), CEO and Co-Founder of IENAI SPACE, which develops and manufactures electric propulsion modules for nanosatellites together with mission optimisation 
  • María González Manso (Spain), CEO and Co-Founder of tucuvi, which automates follow-up phone consultations with empathetic artificial intelligence 
  • Bàrbara Oliveira (Ireland), CTO and Co-Founder of Luminate Medical, whose technology helps prevent the side effects of cancer treatment 
  • Eva Sadoun (France), CEO and Co-Founder of, which makes it easier to invest in social enterprises 

In the Women Innovators category: 

  • Elena García Armada (Spain), CEO and Co-Founder of Marsi Bionics, which develops paediatric exoskeletons and robotic knees 
  • Rana Sanyal (Türkiye), CSO and Co-Founder of RS Research, which develops smart nanomedicines for targeted chemotherapy 
  • Natalia Tomiyama (Germany), Managing Director and Co-Founder of NÜWIEL, which develops e-trailers that can match the movement of the pedestrian or biker pulling it 

In the EIT Women Leadership category: 

  • Yuliia Bialetska (Ukraine/Estonia), CEO and Co-Founder of S.lab, which develops alternatives to plastic foam packaging 
  • Deniz Ficicioglu (Germany), Managing Director and Co-Founder of BettaF!sh GmbH, which develops seaweed-based alternatives to fish 
  • Cristina Purtill (Ireland), CEO of Plio Surgical, which developed a magnetic solution to intestinal post-surgery recovery 


Women are an important source of talent that too often are discouraged or turned away from the world of tech. The EIT’s own study in association with Dealroom revealed that inclusivity unlocks Europe’s potential for innovation. In fact, it found that women-founded tech scale-ups grew 1.2x faster than their competitors over the past five years showing the degree of potential Europe can tap if it makes tech more inclusive to women.

By contrast, excluding women is a huge risk the tech world cannot afford to make. Studies already show that without women’s perspectives and inclusion in the creation of cutting-edge tech, sectors like AI could actually fail to meet people’s real needs and instead reproduce the inequities and harms already present in our status quo.

The joint European Prize for Women Innovators is now the latest in a series of steps the EIC and EIT are taking to make sure Europe can make the most of inclusive innovation. It won’t just decide winners and who gets prizes – it will connect women innovators, give them a chance to network and build out a community, and help boost the future number of women in leadership roles by normalising the idea of women in charge.

First launched in 2011, the EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind game-changing innovations.  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. Learn more about the previous winners and their inspiring projects.


Publication date
20 February 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency