However turning bright ideas and research into commercial success is an issue in Europe. This latest initiative for encouraging and fuelling the participation of women in innovative enterprises is the European Union Women Innovators prize. The idea is to reward three of Europe’s top women innovators, who have seen the fruits of their labour successfully go to market.
The prize will bolster awareness of why innovation is important, and why an increasing number of women entrepreneurs are needed in both research and industry. These womens’ success can, in turn, foster innovation and enterprise in other women.
How to get involved?
Interested parties must meet six conditions in order to participate in the competition. The contestant must be:
- a woman living in either a EU Member States or a country associated to the EU's Research Framework Programme;
- a founder or co-founder of an active company;
- their company must have been registered before 1 January 2009;
- their company should have posted a turnover of at least €100,000 in 2010;
- the contestant must be a recipient of EU funding from either the EU Research Framework Programme or Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) - either as an individual or through the business founded/co-founded by the contestant;
- the candidate must be active in research and innovation activities, linked to the origin of the product or services, provided by the company she founded or co-founded.
A total of €175,000 in prize money is on offer! The first prize is worth €100,000, second prize €50,000 and third prize €25,000. An independent panel of judges from academia and industry will assess and select the winning candidates. An award ceremony will take place during the European Commission Innovation Convention taking in Brussels, Belgium on 5 December 2011.