Innovating for a green, healthy, and digital Europe: the winners of the 2020 EIT Awards

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 11 December 2020 – Two EIT Climate-KIC supported innovators have won awards at its prestigious annual innovation prize, The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced on Wednesday.

Chaitanya Dhumasker, MonitorFish (Germany) and Cristina Aleixendri Muñoz, Bound4Blue (Spain) were awarded the EIT Change and EIT Woman awards, respectively. Chaitanya Dhumasker also came second in the EIT Public award, which saw over 5,000 votes being cast online.

Andreu Martínez Climent, ACORYS (Spain), Filippo Bosco, BluSense Diagnostics (Denmark), and Karthik Laxman Kunjali, Stockholm Water Technology (Sweden) were also awarded top prizes out of 26 finalists, for innovations in the fields of climate, health, manufacturing and innovative energy.

In a virtual celebration of innovation, showcasing the achievements of successful graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators supported by the EIT Community, the 2020 EIT Awards winners were chosen by an international jury from 26 nominees competing in four categories.

Recognising excellence in innovation, the nominees showcased their cutting-edge products and services accelerating Europe’s transition to a greener, healthier, and more digital future.

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

“It is clear that innovation will play a key role in Europe’s recovery. The many bright minds and their technologies on show today further demonstrate that the EIT’s unique approach to innovation is powering a new generation of entrepreneurs and services for Europe. My congratulations to all the finalists, and, in particular, the 2020 EIT Award winners!’’

The EIT Awards highlight the entire innovation pipeline powered by the EIT, from student to entrepreneur, from lab to market, and from idea to solutions for Europe. This dynamic innovation approach creates a unique environment where nominees develop and scale innovative solutions to tackle pressing global challenges in the fields of climate, energy, digitisation, food, health, manufacturing, urban mobility, and raw materials.

“Gioia Ghezzi, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, added: This year’s EIT Awards not only recognise the impressive achievements of Europe’s brightest innovators and entrepreneurs, but also their resilience during these exceptional times. With cutting-edge innovations in a variety of fields, from health to climate and food to digitisation, the 2020 nominees embody solutions to the many challenges currently facing Europe. This is why at the EIT, we will keep doing what we do best: powering, connecting and mobilising innovators, entrepreneurs and organisations to transform their ideas into ground-breaking technologies, for the benefit of us all.’”

2020 EIT Awards Winners

The EIT Awards celebrates the leading entrepreneurial talent including women innovators, start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative projects that Europe has to offer. Winners of the EIT CHANGE Award, the EIT Innovators Award, the EIT Venture Award, and the EIT Woman Award are awarded EUR 50 000, runners up receive EUR 20 000 and third prize EUR 10 000.

Chaitanya Dhumasker, MonitorFish (Berlin, Germany) and supported by EIT Climate-KIC won the EIT CHANGE Award. This award recognises top graduates from EIT education programmes. Chaitanya Dhumasker remarked: ‘The education and exposure I received through the EIT Climate-KIC Master School truly fostered my confidence and passion to build a company that would drive positive change in the ecosystem.

Andreu Martínez Climent, Corify Care (Madrid, Spain) and supported by EIT Health won the EIT Innovators Award. ACORYS innovation project partners include: SERMAS (ES), Universitat Politècnica de València (ES), University of Oxford (UK), ATOS (ES), FIBMED (DE) and GENESIS Biomed (ES). This award highlights teams and individuals that have developed high-impact products and services. ‘As a scientist specialising in the clinical environment, the ultimate goal of our actions is to improve the quality of life of patients and the work of clinicians. The EIT Community has provided [support] in areas including investment, management, and market access, which are helping to build a team that makes the innovation progress and succeed.’ said Andreu Martínez Climent.

Filippo Bosco, BluSense Diagnostics (Copenhagen, Denmark) and supported by EIT Manufacturing won the EIT Venture Award. This award recognises start-ups and scale-ups that have benefited from business acceleration and creation support by the EIT Community. ‘We are driven by the vision of turning research into products that improve the lives of people and reduce the impact of diseases. The venture support we received from the ‘EIT Crisis Response Initiative’ allows us to address critical manufacturing pain points with expected high societal impact.’ said Filippo Bosco.

Cristina Aleixendri Muñoz, bound4blue (Barcelona, Spain) and supported by EIT Climate-KIC won the EIT Woman Award. This award recognises inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders driving innovation. Cristina Aleixendri stated ‘I am optimistic that we will be able to reverse the situation of women in tech and in entrepreneurship. If each female entrepreneur empowers two women to join the start-up ecosystem and supports them to become tech entrepreneurs, the increase in women in tech and entrepreneurship would not be incremental but exponential in base-2, which is what we need.’

Karthik Laxman Kunjali, Stockholm Water Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) and supported by EIT InnoEnergy won the EIT Public Award. This award recognises the public’s top innovation with thousands of votes cast online across Europe. ‘From essential financing and valuable business advice to wonderful office spaces – EIT InnoEnergy has been crucial in getting us where we are now. We are very grateful to have received this kind of support and opportunities. The next development phase of our business plan, also elaborated with their support, will include reaching out to its investor and corporate network – we can’t wait!’ said Karthik Laxman Kunjali.

Watch the first interviews with the EIT Awards winners here and find photos here.



What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)? 

The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body which is an integral part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships – EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities – among leading companies, research labs and universities.  

EIT powers innovative solutions to global challenges 

The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC), drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital), lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food), give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health), achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy), strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing), develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials), and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility). Together with their leading partners in Europe, the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe: entrepreneurial education courses, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.  

In line with the European Commission’s draft strategy for the EIT in 2021 to 2027, a Call for a new EIT Culture and Creativity Knowledge and Innovation Community will be launched soon.

EIT Facts & Figures 

  • Europe’s largest innovation network: 2 000+ partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs across Europe 
  • Europe’s tried, tested and proven innovation engine: powered more than 3 100 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 1 170 new products and services that have gone to raise more than EUR 3.3 billion in external capital. More than 3 100 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes and over 10 000 have participated in EIT Community entrepreneurial trainings.

More information: EIT in a nutshell Infographic





EIT Success Stories 

The EIT Community powers talented innovators, entrepreneurs and students. These include Diabeloop – D4Kids, an artificial intelligence system to improve type 1 diabetes management for children, supported by EIT Health; CorPower Ocean, supported by EIT InnoEnergy, which is developing a unique Wave Energy Converter to efficiently and sustainably harvest wave energy, revolutionising the world of renewable wave energy; and Lilium, the world’s first electric vertical take-off and landing jet, supported by EIT Climate-KIC

Discover EIT Community innovators: 

EIT Community COVID-19 solutions

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