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Europe urgently needs more innovators to stay competitive in the coming decades and to spur economic growth. The large number of well-educated women who, for various reasons, including lack of awareness, do not consider entrepreneurship as an option, represents a tremendous untapped pool of innovation.
Awards have a strong potential to drive innovation through the recognition of achievements and the promotion of role models. Therefore, the European Commission created in 2011 a Prize for Women Innovators to increase public awareness of this issue and to encourage women to exploit the commercial and business opportunities and become entrepreneurs.
After the success of the forerunners of the contest in 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017 the Commission intends to continue its drive to spotlight women innovators and entrepreneurs who have brought outstanding innovations to the market.
The EC wants to highlight the outstanding achievements of women innovators who have (co-) founded a successful company and brought an innovation to market and benefitted from Research and Innovation funding from the public or private sector.
The Commission will award up to three "EU Prize for Women Innovators" and one "Rising Innovator Award" (female innovators - aged 30 years or under - at the start of their careers) following a European-wide contest.