EIT INNOVATION FORUM | EIT

EIT Innovation Forum
Monday 16 October
Tuesday 17 October
Budapest, Hungary

INNOVEIT 2017

The EIT’s Innovation Forum ‘INNOVEIT 2017’ combines the EIT Awards and the EIT Stakeholder Forum. This year has a specific focus on shaping the future of innovation in Europe and consulting stakeholders on the EIT’s Strategic Innovation Agenda for 2021 to 2027.

 

We will also celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of the EIT Community and highlight successful innovations and the teams that created them. We wish to inspire a new generation of young professionals by facilitating new personal contacts with entrepreneurial role models and showcasing how the EIT can help to develop entrepreneurial careers.

The EIT Alumni CONNECT event, which is the annual forum for EIT graduates to network, will be organised back-to-back with INNOVEIT 2017. 

INNOVEIT 2017 will bring together around 600 entrepreneurs, representatives of higher education and research, EU, national and regional policy makers, as well as EIT graduates and other key innovation actors.

In an inspiring and interactive way, INNOVEIT 2017 will:

  • Discuss “Shaping innovation in Europe” and consult on the EIT`s Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027
  • Showcase successful innovations and ventures emerging from the EIT Community, including their development and their effect on societal challenges, and present the next generation of entrepreneurs and change makers

Where will INNOVEIT 2017 be held?

Budapest Congress Centre, next to the Novotel Budapest City

Alkotas ut 63-67, 1123 BUDAPEST - HUNGARY

Tel (+36) 1 372 5400 

For directions, see the 'Useful information' tab.

EIT Stakeholder Forum

The EIT Stakeholder Forum is open to representatives of national, regional and local authorities, organised interests and individual entities from business, education, research, associations, civil society and cluster organisations, as well as other interested parties from across the knowledge triangle.

The EIT Stakeholder Forum:

  • Provides information on EIT and Innovation Community activities
  • Discusses and receives feedback on EIT and Innovation Community activities
  • Shares experience, good practice and results
  • Contributes to EU education, research and innovation policies
  • Ensures synergies and complementarities at EU, national, regional and local levels
  • Provides stakeholders with a platform to express their views
  • Enables interaction among stakeholders and the EIT Community

Within the EIT Stakeholder Forum, representatives of the Member States meet in a special configuration to ensure a greater flow of information and sharing of experience. This ‘Member State Configuration’ also ensures appropriate synergies and complementarities between EIT and Innovation Community activities with national programmes and initiatives, including the potential national co-financing of Innovation Community activities.

Participants include:

  • National, regional and local authorities
  • EU institutional stakeholders (European Parliament, European Commission)
  • Organised interests (business, research, education): multipliers and individuals

A meeting of the EIT Stakeholder Forum is convened at least once each year. 

EIT Awards

Part of the EIT’s mission is to create an environment that allows entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish - both as a way of thinking and as an activity. To support this, the EIT organises annual awards to recognise and reward the successful start-ups, innovative projects and young entrepreneurial talent that Europe has to offer.

The EIT Venture Award, which celebrates breakthrough innovations and exciting start-ups, was introduced in 2012, while in 2013 the EIT CHANGE Award was added to recognise Europe’s newest generation of entrepreneurs and the ideas they produce. In 2015, the EIT introduced the Innovators Award for Innovation Community teams that have developed - in an exemplary manner - an innovative product, service or process with a high potential for societal and economic impact.

EIT Alumni CONNECT event

Through continuous engagement, the EIT develops a community of graduates from EIT-labelled educational programmes implemented by the Innovation Communities. The EIT Alumni CONNECT event will provide a platform for students and alumni from across the Innovation Communities to meet and share knowledge, experience and ideas and to continue developing the EIT Alumni Community.

This year’s CONNECT event will showcase inspirational success stories and offer participants the chance to innovate in co-creation sessions and workshops designed to combat some of Europe’s major societal challenges.

Day 1 16/10/2017

DAY 1: INNOVEIT 2017

12:30pm
INNOVEIT 2017 Registration

1:30pm
INNOVEIT 2017 Opening: Shaping innovation in Europe

  • Info
  • Speakers

This session opens INNOVEIT 2017, sets the scene and launches the INNOVEIT forum on the future Europe’s innovation strategy and the EIT lead role in the EU innovation landscape.

Speakers:

  • Peter Olesen, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board
  • Dr. Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas, keynote speaker

Panellists:

  • Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
  • Peter Olesen, Chairman of the EIT Governing Board
  • Eva Maydell, Member of the European Parliament
  • Dr. Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas
Chairman of the EIT Governing Board
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Member of the European Parliament

2:30pm
Insights into the future of innovation in Europe

  • Info
  • Speakers

The session presents the EIT achievements to date and engages stakeholders in a debate on shaping a high-level vision for innovation in Europe for the next ten years.

Speakers:

  • Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director
  • Speaker - tbc
EIT Interim Director

3:15pm
EIT Innovation Tour

  • Info

Showcases innovations from EIT innovation teams and nominees for the EIT Awards. Participants have the opportunity to learn about the innovations and meet the innovators during a guided tour.

4:30pm
Coffee break

5:00pm
Meet the top nominees for EIT CHANGE, Venture and Innovators Awards

  • Info

This session presents the 3 top nominees for the 2017 edition of each of the EIT Awards: Venture, CHANGE and Innovators.

6:00pm
EIT Award Ceremony

  • Info

The three winners of the EIT Awards 2017 will be announced as well as the winner of the public vote.

6:30pm
Networking Dinner

Day 2 17/10/2017

DAY 2: INNOVEIT 2017

9:00am
Europe’s route to growth and innovation

  • Info

Speakers:

  • Keynote speaker - tbc
  • Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director

This session will outline Europe’s ambition for economic growth and prosperity and the EIT’s high-level strategic directions (2021-2027). It will also introduce the four themes for the workshop discussions.

9:30am
Shaping innovation in Europe: four parallel workshops

  • Info
  • Speakers

Four parallel sessions use an interactive setting for debating with and consulting stakeholders on how the EIT can better deliver world-class solutions to societal challenges that create jobs and improve the quality of life of citizens.

Topics of the sessions:

1. Future societal challenges and the next EIT innovation communities

2. Education for innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Discussion launched by Ana Trbovic, EIT Governing Board member
  • Rapporteur: Alea Lopez de San Roman, Policy Officer LERU for Enterprise and Innovation

3. Delivering innovations to the citizen - the EIT-Way

  • Discussion launched by Dirk Jan van den Berg, EIT Governing Board member

4. Boosting regions to excellence

  • Rapporteur: Dr Fatime-Barbara Hegyi, JRC – Smart Specialisation Platform
Joint Research Center, Smart Specialisation Platform
League of European Research Universities

11:00am
Networking café

11:45am
Shaping innovation in Europe – high-level panel

  • Info
  • Speakers

The panel uses the outcomes and recommendations from the parallel discussions as a basis to debate and on how the EIT can refine its future strategy to maximise its effect on Europe and its citizens.

Panelists:

  • Keynote speaker - tbc
  • Ana S. Trbović, EIT Governing Board member
  • Falco Döring, EIT Alumni President
  • Sylvie Bove, Chief Executive Officer, EIT Health
  • Willem Jonker, Chief Executive Officer, EIT Digital

Closing: by Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director

CEO of EIT Health
CEO of EIT Digital
EIT Interim Director
President of the EIT Alumni Community Board

1:00pm
Networking lunch

  • Peter Olesen

    Chairman of the EIT Governing Board
    INNOVEIT 2017 Opening: Shaping innovation in Europe
    Read more
  • Dr Nora Khaldi

    Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas
    INNOVEIT 2017 Opening: Shaping innovation in Europe
    Read more
  • Tibor Navracsics

    European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
    INNOVEIT 2017 Opening: Shaping innovation in Europe
    Read more
  • Eva Maydell

    Member of the European Parliament
    INNOVEIT 2017 Opening: Shaping innovation in Europe
    Read more
  • Martin Kern

    EIT Interim Director
    Insights into the future of innovation in Europe Shaping innovation in Europe – high-level panel
    Read more
  • Fatime Barbara Hegyi

    Joint Research Center, Smart Specialisation Platform
    Shaping innovation in Europe: four parallel workshops
    Read more
  • Alea López de San Román

    League of European Research Universities
    Shaping innovation in Europe: four parallel workshops
    Read more
  • Dirk Jan van den Berg

    Shaping innovation in Europe: four parallel workshops
    Read more
  • Sylvie Bove

    CEO of EIT Health
    Shaping innovation in Europe – high-level panel
    Read more
  • Willem Jonker

    CEO of EIT Digital
    Shaping innovation in Europe – high-level panel
    Read more
  • Falko Döring

    President of the EIT Alumni Community Board
    Shaping innovation in Europe – high-level panel
    Read more

EIT AWARDS

The EIT Awards promote innovation and encourage entrepreneurship by putting the most innovative ventures, entrepreneurial graduates and innovation teams from the EIT's Innovation Communities in the spotlight and to create role models for future change. More specifically:

The EIT CHANGE Award celebrates graduates from EIT-labelled educational programmes who spur innovation and entrepreneurship and bring about a change in the areas addressed by the EIT and its Innovation Communities.

The EIT Innovators Award recognises innovation teams from the Innovation Communities that have developed a product, service or process with a high potential for societal and economic impact.

The EIT Venture Award puts successful entrepreneurial start-ups that have been supported by the Innovation Communities through a dedicated business creation or business development process in the spotlight.

Within the EIT Community, the EIT Awards play an important role in celebrating achievements and success, identifying role models and increasing opportunities for the continued development of EIT Award winners.

Philipp Hollberg

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Philipp Hollberg

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Project: CAALA GmbH

Nominated by: EIT InnoEnergy

Key words: Life-cycle-Assessment, buildings, real-time

Project aim: The aim is to realize a paradigm shift in building planning in order to cut emissions and life-cycle costs. We do this by enabling planners to optimize building designs in the early planning phase from an environmental, energetic and economical perspective taking the entire life-cycle into account.  

EIT Community connection: EIT InnoEnergy SELECT: UPC Barcelona (2014) and KTH Stockholm (2015)

The project

The idea: CAALA is a start-up which develops a Software-as-a-service solution, providing building designers in the early planning phase with feedback regarding energy demand, costs and emissions over the entire building‘s life-cycle. The software builds on the methodology of parametric life-cycle assessment, which has been created in one of the co-founders’ PhD. We bring research in the market in form of a plug-in for existing CAD software which in real-time runs a complete economic and environmental life-cycle assessment.

Inspiration: The discussions with my brother regarding his PhD Thesis and the resulting understanding of the great role the construction industry needs to play in fostering sustainability have inspired me to get involved in a previously unknown industry. Realizing that this project is the unique opportunity to make use of my skills in order to have a scalable positive impact is more than enough inspiration and motivation to push me forward. 

USPs: With CAALA, building planners for the first time can get real-time feedback in the early planning phase regarding the economic and environmental performance of their building. Without much previous knowledge about energy and emissions, they can not only check whether regulations are being fulfilled (avoiding expensive changes later), but gain a holistic understanding of the effect their selections regarding geometry, materials and building technologies have. Thus, for the first time, planners can optimize a building design offering their customer a better quality building at lower life-cycle costs and with a minimized ecological footprint. 

EIT Community support: I have benefited from EIT InnoEnergy and the EIT in a number of ways: The EIT InnoEnergy Master Program SELECT has empowered me to become a tech entrepreneur by proving me the engineering education required. The EIT InnoEnergy CommUnity provides me with a network of like-minded people and access to neighboring EU markets. EIT Climate-KIC is also supporting CAALA through its accelerator programme. The EIT Community has motivated me to take this path and to think big in order to have a positive impact. 

The nominee

The beginning: I always had a great interest in the environment, especially after becoming aware of climate change in my youth. After having studied industrial engineering and management at KIT, I understood the great role the energy system plays in shifting towards a more sustainable world. Co-founding an NGO after graduating from school and my first start-up during my bachelor studies allowed me to experience the power entrepreneurship has as a tool for positive change. In order to strengthen my engineering skills and learn more about tech entrepreneurship, EIT InnoEnergy became the next logical development step. Today I have the unique opportunity to make use of the experiences and knowledge acquired throughout my life to make the construction industry more environmentally friendly. 

Entrepreneurial spirit: It has taken time to understand what effect we all can have and what a great tool entrepreneurship is. Co-founding an NGO in Ghana after graduating from school has been the life-changing experience of being able to realize dreams and having a scalable impact. Since then I am eager to have a positive impact by starting new organizations/ companies in order to realize ideas and bring technology innovations to market. 

Joining the EIT Community:  Before joining the Master Program I had the opportunity to work for the COO of EIT InnoEnergy as a working student. Doing so has convinced me of the great potential EIT InnoEnergy as well as the EIT have in fostering positive change in Europe and the rest of the world. The combination of engineering and entrepreneurship education in an international environment with students from across the world results in a unique opportunity for long-lasting impact, an impact we as the community have the possibility and the responsibility to make. 

 

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Julia Wache

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Julia Wache

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Project: feelSpace

Nominated by: EIT Digial

Key words: Haptic navigation belt

Project aim: To give people, especially the blind and visually impaired, more freedom and independence by facilitating orientation for everybody with a navigation device that leaves hands, eyes and ears free. 

EIT Community connection: EIT Digital Doctoral Programme graduate (University of Trento, October 2012 - October 2016)

The project

The idea: My startup developed a navigation belt that indicates direction via constant vibration feedback, leaving hands, eyes, and ears free. Visually impaired (and other) users can develop a better (sense of) orientation and, through this, navigate more independently and comfortably.

Inspiration: I discovered the research on tactile belts from my sister who was involved in the work – I was fascinated by the results. I developed a business model for producing the tactile belts commercially in 2014 during the EIT Digital Business Model Course because research had shown large potential for the blind and visually impaired. My work won a $25K prize at VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge in the US. I then joined a team of researchers from Osnabrück and established feelSpace with them in 2015. 

USPs: The navigation belt provides a stress-free navigation experience that leaves hands, eyes and ears free. It is inclusive and can be used by everybody (not just visually impaired people, also bikers, hikers, seniors, tourists…) and it can help to develop a better sense of orientation.

EIT Community support: I gained all my knowledge about entrepreneurship and running a successful start-up through my training in the EIT Digital Doctoral Programme. From designing business plans to raising funds, the course gave me the essential background and skills I needed to help launch a business. Thanks to many valuable contacts within the EIT network I know a lot of experts that supported me and helped with any questions I had. 

The nominee

The beginning: During my Master’s degree (in Cognitive Science) I started to consider how I could implement research results to improve people’s lives. I considered a future in the business world but wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to establish a company myself.

Entrepreneurial spirit: I was always fascinated by people with an entrepreneurial spirit who had an idea and made it work, but thought I lacked the education and ideas to be an entrepreneur myself. During my first internship in a start-up in San Francisco, I became aware of how much I enjoyed this field and that it is possible to learn the necessary skills. I started to change my future plans accordingly.

Joining the EIT Community: I saw a chance to learn more about being an entrepreneur and how to implement research results into actual products that would help people, so I joined the EIT digital education programme. 

 

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Eline Leising

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Eline Leising

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Project: CaffeInk

Nominated by: EIT Climate-KIC

Key words: Coffee waste, sustainable pigments, circular economy

Project aim: To extract pigments from coffee waste and use them to create sustainable ink.

EIT Community connection: 

  • EIT Climate-KIC master label programme (Delft University and Leiden University, 2014 – 2016)
  • EIT Climate-KIC Journey (2014)
  • EIT Climate-KIC Greenhouse programme, the Netherlands (2015-2016)

The project

The idea: CaffeInk gives a second life to coffee waste. We want to extract pigments from coffee waste and use them to produce a sustainable ink. In this way we form part of a new value chain.

Inspiration: Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world and together all humans daily produce an amount of coffee waste that is equal in weight to three Eiffel towers. Our team wanted to make use of the resources that are in these spent coffee grounds. At the same time, the demand for ink is increasing and ink products are produced in a polluting way. Pigments are among the most polluting compounds of ink. Our team wants to replace these polluting pigments with a sustainable alternative: pigments sourced from waste coffee grounds.

USPs: We connect the coffee sector with ink producers in a revolutionary way. We are both a service provider and a technologically innovative enterprise.

EIT Community support: Thanks to the EIT Climate-KIC Summer School, our team got together and we received training needed to develop our idea and present it during the pitch competition. We moreover benefited from our participation in the EIT Climate-KIC Greenhouse programme that supported us with financials, personal and professional coaching and opportunities to meet experts. 

The nominee

The beginning: Nature always inspired me and this is also what drives me as a graduate in Industrial Ecology: a Master programme that is built around the metaphor of learning from nature and viewing waste as a valuable resource. At CaffeInk, we exactly aim for this natural way of closing loops by using waste as a resource again.

Entrepreneurial spirit: Sustainable change and transitions have always fascinated me, but before I joined EIT Climate-KIC I did not see myself as an entrepreneur. EIT Climate-KIC made me realise my personal potential to create a positive effect.

Joining the EIT Community: I strongly believe in the power of collaboration. The EIT connects science, business and policy and in this way has the potential to boost sustainable innovation processes. For me the EIT and EIT Climate-KIC offer the opportunities of making contacts all around Europe with like-minded young professionals, eager to make this world a more sustainable place. 

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Florence Josefine Virginia Gschwend

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Florence Josefine Virginia Gschwend

Award Category: 
CHANGE Award Nominee

Project: BioFlex - Chrysalix Technologies

Nominated by: EIT Climate-KIC

Key words: Wood, biorefinery, circular

Project aim: To offer a way to use any type of woody material to produce the chemicals, materials and fuels of a cleaner tomorrow.

EIT Community connection: 

  • EIT Climate-KIC Ph.D. label (Imperial College London, October 2013-June 2017)
  • EIT Climate-KIC Summer school “The Journey” (July/August 2014, Paris, Bologna, Valencia)
  • EIT Climate-KIC PhD Summer school (August/September 2016, Gothenburg)
  • EIT Climate-KIC Greenhouse (2016)
  • EIT Climate-KIC accelerator (2017)

The project

The idea: My team and I have developed a chemical process that utilises inexpensive liquid salts, aka ionic liquids (ILs), to separate the major components of any type of woody material (e.g. wood, but also agricultural residues such as straws). This allows us to condition biomass material to produce bio-derived products, such as bioethanol or bioplastics. Most importantly, our process has the ability to extract heavy metals from the biomass and recover them. Heavy metals are ubiquitous in construction wood, where they are added as preservatives. Using the specially designed ILs, we can use waste construction wood as a very cheap raw material to produce inexpensive and clean chemicals, materials and fuels.

Inspiration: I studied chemistry for my Bachelor’s degree. While I liked chemistry, I really wanted to do something meaningful that would get me out of bed in the morning, which is why I am creating a solution to environmental problems that will potentially improve the livelihood of many people around the globe. The inspiration for this specific problem came from my Ph.D. project, where I worked on making the processing of biomass more economically viable. Now that I’ve finished my Ph.D. I want to take it one step further and develop the technology to the point where it can be implemented in the real world.

USPs: While other technologies struggle to convert wood and especially waste wood, our technology allows us to use contaminated waste wood from construction and demolition to produce inexpensive fuels, material and chemicals. This means we can offer the use of a cheaper and more sustainable raw material for the bio-derived industries.

EIT Community support: I received part of my funding for my Ph.D. project from EIT Climate-KIC which, amongst other benefits, gave me the opportunity to participate in the EIT Climate-KIC summer school, aka the Journey. That was the first time I was confronted with the idea of starting my own business. Although I took an accounting class in high school, I had very few business-related skills when I first started my Ph.D. The Journey, however, taught me some of those skills but also showed me that, once you have a good idea, you can find the people with a complementary skill set to yours to form a strong team. Most importantly, meeting earlier Journey participants who had successfully started their own businesses was incredibly inspiring and motivating. 

The nominee

The beginning: I became interested in clean technology while I was doing my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and felt really dissatisfied with the courses which were mainly focused around traditional chemical synthesis rather than innovative new types of chemistry. This really influenced my choice for my master’s programme, for which I did an MRes in Green Chemistry, energy and the environment at Imperial College. I have since worked in the same research group.

Entrepreneurial spirit: The short answer is no. For a very long time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. Over time I learned what I didn’t want to be: teacher, accountant, lawyer, someone who does repetitive work, someone who is micro-managed, someone who does something that someone else could do just as well. Being an entrepreneur only occurred to me during my Ph.D. through the events and programmes organized by EIT Climate-KIC.

Joining the EIT Community: My Ph.D. was originally funded by the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. When I started, I met other students from the cohort who told me about the EIT Climate-KIC  label, so I got in touch with the local office. They told me all about the programme, especially the summer school - the Journey - as well as the possibility to do a placement abroad during the Ph.D., and it sounded super interesting, so I signed up to it the same day. 

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Oliver Marchand

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Oliver Marchand

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing CARBON DELTA AG

Product: Climate Value-at-Risk

Nominated by: EIT Climate-KIC

Key words: Climate Change, Investors, Risk Management

Project aim: Bringing the financial sector on a 2°C path by establishing Climate Value-at-Risk as the de-facto global standard for climate risk assessment and reporting for investors.

EIT Community connection: 

  • EIT Climate-KIC Switzerland Accelerator program
  • European Venture Competition 2016 winner
  • EIT Climate-KIC partner starting 2017
  • Four Pathfinder and Demonstrator projects
  • Multiple presentations for students in Zurich

The start-up

The idea: Carbon Delta is an environmental fintech that identifies and analyses the climate change resilience of publicly traded companies. To date, very little is known about the extent to which individual companies are exposed to climate change and the costs that they will face to adapt to the effects. Estimated financial losses from climate change range from USD 2.5 to 72 trillion by 2060. To help investors understand and quantify these risks within their portfolio, Carbon Delta has developed a software model to assess a company’s Climate Value-at-Risk (Climate VaR), and therefore how much of its market value is possibly affected by climate change. Our method uses big data analysis and can be used to calculate the Climate VaR for thousands of equities and other asset classes. Three core risk factors are used for calculating a company's overall Climate VaR: regulations, extreme weather events, and the Paris Agreement's 2°C target.

EIT Community support: Supporting our vision, Networking opportunities, Visibility, Brand building/recognition, Financial support, Mentoring and classes, Connecting us with students to conduct research projects

Teamwork: Carbon Delta’s team is composed of three co-founders with the following responsibilities:

  • Dr Oliver Marchand is the CEO of Carbon Delta. His vision in creating a new climate risk standard in the financial industry is crucial to driving Carbon Delta forward. His main responsibilities include the creation, planning, implementation and integration of the company’s long-term strategy. Furthermore, he ensures the synergetic functioning between the different projects and teams. Oliver holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ETH Zürich.
  • David Lunsford is the Head of Development. He designs the risk assessment methodologies for Carbon Delta’s research tool, and leads a team of analysts that gather and validate the data that is being used in our core model. He is also in charge of managing client relationships and the business development of the company. David holds an MBA from the University of Geneva.
  • Dr Elke Schaper is the Head of Software Engineering. She is responsible for the progressive implementation and development of risk assessment models, continuous updates of the database backbone, model validation procedures, and reliable performance. She manages the growing team of software engineers. Elke holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Sciences from ETH Zürich. 

Venture development: With the acquisition of our first clients, we are in the middle of market entry. While our product will be continuously expanded and improved, the current version of our product is already market ready. Thus, we are now looking to increase our sales and then gradually penetrate an increasing number of markets. 

The nominee

The beginning: I became interested in climate change in 1992, when the concept was introduced to me in introductory lectures on meteorology. I have followed the issue ever since with great interest. Consequently, the Carbon Delta idea then developed gradually and grew significantly through my professional exposure to financial markets.

Learning from experience: Engage early and go to as many events as possible. Focus on the business model. Work continuously and hard on your business plan.

Best memory: Acquiring clients and winning the European venture competition 2016.

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Solvita Kostjukova

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Solvita Kostjukova

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing ALINA

Product: ALINA LIFE

Nominated by: EIT Raw Materials

Key words: Toxic chemical free products.

Project aim: ALINA produces human health-friendly clay mineral materials to substitute toxic chemicals in building products.

EIT Community connection: Kick Starter and Booster Funding – EIT RawMaterials

The start-up

The idea: ALINA produces state-of-the-art clay mineral materials by challenging how things are made. By putting people's health first, we take responsibility not only for people, but also for the environment. ALINA uses innovative production technology to manufacture clay mineral materials, available for building product manufacturers to substitute for toxic chemicals and heavy metals. By reducing environmental pollution, we improve people’s health and well-being.

EIT Community support: Networking, corporate partners & grant of EUR 60.000

Teamwork: ALINA has an outstanding management team of three experienced professionals, covering main competencies: Sales & Marketing, Product & Technology as well as Manufacturing & Finances. The management team is well supported by Northern Europe's leading scientists in the field of mineral materials. 

ALINA's team members are:

  • Solvita Kostjukova, CEO & Product development
  • Dāvids Štēbelis, Sales & Marketing
  • Ģirts Ozols, Finance & Legal
  • Juris Kostjukovs, R&D leader
  • Jūlija Karasa, R&D

Venture development: ALINA is an early stage startup, that was established in a December, 2015. The company has accomplished successful technology and product validation, developing ALINA LIFE TM product. The product has been introduced to number of regional and global industry manufacturers, as a result signing contracts to run common R&D and co-creation projects. In addition, ALINA LIFE product received the Sustainable Build Award in Denmark and is the first type of product receiving the prestigious Cradle 2 Cradle certification. Today ALINA validates product market fit and is developing scalable business model, building partnerships with manufacturing partners and distribution channels across the Europe and globally.

The nominee

The beginning: My first interest comes from experience in Brazil. While I was interning in the Ecological Engineering Laboratory at UNICAMP, I was intoxicated with chemicals (herbicides and pesticides) that were used to grow vegetables. At this point I recognised and experienced the damaging and degrading effects of toxic chemicals. It was the motivation to investigate what are the main sources of pollution, having dangerous effects towards human health and well-being.

Learning from experience: It is an excellent spring board to grow and scale your business.

Best memory: Meeting smiling clients with new ideas about ALINA LIFE product application.

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Bert Bult

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Bert Bult

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing Purified Metal Company

Product: Purified Metal Blocks

Nominated by: EIT Raw Materials

Key words: Recycling contaminated steel scrap

Project aim: Realising a patented and innovative idea for the recycling of (asbestos) contaminated steel scrap.

EIT Community connection: EIT RawMaterials is a very important supporter and sponsor of Purified Metal Company (PMC). EIT RawMaterials is supporting PMC (a.o.) by introducing us to its network of partners and by providing financial support to create an Information Memorandum and finding a lead investor.

The start-up

The idea: PMC aims to be the first company able to recycle contaminated (e.g. asbestos, PCBs or mercury sulphide) steel scrap into a premium quality end product (Purified Metal Blocks™) for the steel industry in a one process step. Via a patented process, fully based on proven & patented technology validated by the University of Aachen and further engineered by Küttner and Royal HaskoningDHV, PMC offers a unique solution for e.g. the dismantling, building and oil and gas industry to dispose their contaminated steel scrap in a cost effective and sustainable manner instead of dumping it in landfills or cleaning it at high cost. 

EIT Community support: EIT RawMaterials has introduced PMC to potential partners for realising the project and supported PMC financially to overcome critical stages in the development of the venture.

Teamwork: Our venture has been initiated by three partners (Nathalie van de Poel, Jan Henk Wijma and Bert Bult). We are working very closely together to achieve our main goal, which is the realisation of a first factory in Delfzijl. Our competencies (commercial, technical, strategic) are largely complementary, which has meant a lot for the speed at which we have been able to come close to the realisation of the first factory.

Venture development: We are currently working on the financing of the first factory. The funding is almost complete. For this we need to select a lead investor for the project. After this selection, the process towards financial close (due diligence and drafting the necessary contracts) will start. Our goal is to start the building of the factory in January 2018.

The nominee

The beginning: I was approached by my two partners (Nathalie van de Poel and Jan Henk Wijma) after they came up with the idea of recycling contaminated steel scrap. I immediately saw the potential and the rest is history.

Learning from experience: The network of the EIT Community has substance. Within the network, professionals, institutions and companies can be found that can support the start-up to get to the next level or share ideas to cope with potential issues. My advice is to be open to contacts within the network of the EIT Community and reach out for this.

Best memory: Setting up our own company has been this moment. Before this moment, I have been working for quite a few companies and I developed new products, processes and markets for these companies. The ability to do that for ourselves and by doing this solve a major environmental problem makes me very happy.

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Zsolt Nemeth

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Zsolt Nemeth

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing APP-RAY

Product: APP-RAY 

Nominated by: EIT Digital

Key words: Provide mobile application security 

Project aim: Building a mobile application security standard with APP-RAY

EIT Community connection: Scale-Up company of EIT Digital for A2M and A2F program

The start-up

The idea: App-Ray is a spin-off company of FRAUNHOFER AISEC based in Munich with the idea to commercialise the cutting-edge technology developed by Fraunhofer by making On-premise and SaaS based applications and API integration layer.  

EIT Community support: The EIT Community has introduced us to many security related Key Accounts from different verticals that helped us a lot to perfectly understand the requirements and the prerequesites to use App-Ray within large organisations who have to follow compliance and data protection policies. 

Teamwork: The team is headed by two serial entrepreneurs with many years of experience in the IT sector and  who can rely on a proven track record. While one is more focused on IT security and cryptography, the second has broad experience in state-of-the-art IT architecture implemented with large and mid-size companies. The management is supported by IT security experts with Ph.D.s and professional skilled members in the area of product management, marketing and after sales services.

Venture development: App-Ray has started to market the SaaS based and On-premise solution and is continuously developing the platform with product enhancements.

The nominee

The beginning: My professional career started in the IT security field many years ago. I was able to successfully complete a startup in this field, which was acquired by BAE, primarily in the cryptography space. Back then I already started a successful cooperation with Fraunhofer AISEC, which introduced App-Ray to me. 

Learning from experience: Be open minded and receptive to good advice of people with many years of experience in the industry, take advantage of the great ressources of the EIT – they have skills in almost any field a typical start-up is walking through;, in order to utilise their broad skills you must communicate with them on a permanent basis to have them to understand your product and your need which enables them to leverage your business and your evolvement. Invest a good amount of your valuable time to maintain this partnership.

Best memory: First customer contract over EUR 100 000.

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Damiano Bolzoni

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Damiano Bolzoni

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing SecurityMatters

Product: SilentDefense

Nominated by: EIT Digital

Key words: Cyber-resilience for critical infrastructure

Project aim: To provide cybersecurity and cyber-resilience to critical infrastructure sectors – ensuring that underlying and supporting networks are healthy and threat-free at all times.

EIT Community connection: We joined the EIT Digital Accelerator programme and received support from the Access to Finance team.

The start-up

The idea: SecurityMatters is the developer of an innovative automated network and situational awareness platform that enables critical infrastructure organisations worldwide to implement and operate cyber-resilient industrial control systems.

EIT Community support: With the support of the EIT Digital Access to Finance team, we raised substantial funding from four prime investment groups. The German Corporate Venture Fund Robert Bosch Venture Capital provided a share in funding that helped us expand our sales and marketing and support teams internationally.

Teamwork:  We have a good mix of highly qualified people which form a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. In terms of the founders: Sandro Etalle is a strategic thinker who brings a wealth of networks and contacts which provides us not only with access to talent but also connects us to a wide range of stakeholders.

Our CTO Emmanuele Zambon – has deep technological knowledge and is a specialist at solving technical problems.

My role is to connect our technology with other partners and their products.

Venture development: We currently protect over 50 critical infrastructure installations around the world and are competing with the largest players globally. In terms of next steps, we want to consolidate the verticals in which we are already operating and eventually sign OEM agreements with large ICS vendors and service providers which will provide a large boost in revenues.

The nominee

The beginning:  My interest in cyber security dates back to 2002, when I joined one of the Big Four consulting companies as an ethical hacker. In the following years I developed my knowledge further when I joined the University of Twente (Netherlands) for a Ph.D. in network security and eventually got into cybersecurity for critical infrastructure organisations in 2008.

Best memory: Hearing from several Fortune 500 companies and partners that our team is stellar.

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Siten Mandalia

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Siten Mandalia

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing Solaris Offgrid 

Product: Solaris

Nominated by: EIT InnoEnergy

Key words: Pay-as-you-go, Modular, Solar

Project aim: To provide a scalable and affordable electrification solution for the 1.2 billion people currently living without energy access.

EIT Community connection: Part of EIT InnoEnergy and EIT Climate-KIC

The start-up

The idea: The Solaris pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model combined with the innovations we’ve made in customer service, hardware, software, and deployment efficiency are allowing us to build momentum and scale quickly. The Solaris hardware is fully modular and when a customer installs an entry level 20W system, for example, they will be able to keep the base system and wiring intact while they add additional panels (up to 200W), batteries, and consumer electronics (TV, fridge, etc.) as their needs grow over the years. This modularity allows us to maintain a strong relationship with our clients and makes upgrades much more affordable for them. Our software and hardware combination also allows us to eliminate unnecessary components and do system monitoring by SMS instead of GSM, which lowers the manufacturing cost of the system, increases customer satisfaction, and allows us to reach many more customers than products that are GSM connected. To date we have over 1 000 active systems in the field and a lease receivable balance of over USD 300 000. Our deployment efficiency allows us to scale easily by replicating our distribution model in new regions without committing to substantial overhead.

EIT Community support: EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy have both supported the start-up by providing assistance and funding at the early stages of the business where risks were significantly high and investment raising is most difficult. Support through this gap period was essential in moving from a good idea with prototypes to a real business. Aside from funding, the EIT Community provides a network and knowledge to grow businesses and tackle problems pragmatically. This was invaluable to us.

Teamwork: 

  • Siten Mandalia, Eternum Energy CEO: Siten graduated from Imperial College London with an M.Eng. Mechanical Engineering. He has seven years’ experience in start-ups developing renewable and energy access solutions. Siten attended the Imperial Business School’s MBA IE&D course to initiate Eternum Energy. He is the CEO, supervising the operation, setting objectives and handling finances.
  • Thibault Lesueur, Eternum Energy, COO, CMO: Thibault worked for four years in the energy consulting industry after graduating with a BSc in International Business and an MSc in Sustainability & Strategy (NEOMA & SKEMA Business Schools). At Eternum Energy he has the role of COO/CMO, in charge of marketing and the day-to-day operation in Tanzania, ensuring our customers receive a service in which they can trust.
  • Benjamin David, Eternum Energy, CTO: Benjamin graduated with an MSc Environmental Engineering and an MSc International Affairs (Sciences Po, Paris). He has over 10 years’ experience in developing robotics and energy metering hardware. Benjamin is Eternum’s CTO, in charge of product development, electronic and software engineering as well as impact analysis.  

Venture development: Post-pilot, post-revenue, getting ready to scale up.

The nominee

The beginning: As an advocator of good capitalism I strongly believe that business is one of the most powerful tools the ordinary citizen has in order to make a tangible impact on society. It is this belief that resulted in my initial interest in start-ups. I also feel exporting technology to solve problems and promote enterprise in the developing world is the most sustainable solution to key issues. From this understanding and with a focus on East Africa where my parents were born and many of my family reside, I came to energy access as a sector that I could see scope for opportunity and impact.

Learning from experience: Advice: Get feedback from real customers as soon as possible and scientifically collect evidence for the problem that the product solved for the customer and the confirmation of a viable (profitable, scalable) business model. As the product is iterated to get closer to positive outcomes, the risks reduce and the business becomes successful. 

Best memory: Installing 1 000 houses with Solaris.

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Theresa Steininger

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Theresa Steininger

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing WW Wohnwagon GmbH

Product: WOHNWAGON

Nominated by: EIT InnoEnergy

Key words: Inspiring solutions for independent and sustainable living

Project aim: We develop flagship projects like the WOHNWAGON that show a new way of self-sustained and natural living with water circulation systems, independent energy production and ecological building.

EIT Community connection: EIT InnoEnergy Accelerator Programme (Highway Programme) 

The start-up

The idea: Inspiring solutions for independent and sustainable living. We want to become the first address for independent, sustainable living. To achieve that we offer:

  • Inspiration (through our flagship projects such as the WOHNWAGON or the first water self-sustained family home, ...)
  • Knowledge (through our free blogs on our web-platform as well as planning and consulting services)
  • Products and sets for the implementation of new housing solutions (in our webshop)  

EIT Community support: We joined the EIT Climate-KIC accelerator (Stage 1-3) and got there the chance to develop our business model, found ways to develop a scalable model and multiply our impact, then got in touch with EIT InnoEnergy, joined the accelerator programme and got a huge boost: Internationalisation, contacts with future investors, professionalisation of sales strategy, reporting, controlling, contacts with business partners, intense coaching.

Teamwork: We have an amazing team! Our team grew over the past three years and is very diverse. People from different backgrounds and with different experiences that join forces to become the first address for autarky and natural living. We are agile, flexible and fast, we know our strengths and know when to ask experienced professionals from our network for support. We have a lot of fun together and are all driven by the intense wish to really change something in the way people live today! 

Venture development: Ready to internationalise! We hit our first million in revenue last year, have successful flagship projects in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium and want to scale to the next level now which means roll-out our products and ideas at EU level. 

The nominee

The beginning: It all started with this feeling that there is something wrong in the world and that we need to actually DO something to make a difference and show people that there are possibilities for a new way of living.

Learning from experience: Planning is important, but don’t get stuck in your head, try to realise your ideas and bring them to life; often problems can be solved “on the go”. Network, find strong cooperation partners and talk to people about your idea!   

Best memory: The very first time a Wohnwagon customer said: ‘Yes! I want one of those, please build one for me!’ 

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Annemette Hindhede Jensen

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Annemette Hindhede Jensen

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing SiOx Aps

Product: Nanomel

Nominated by: EIT Climate-KIC

Key words: Antiscaling/antifouling surface solution 

Project aim: Prevent metal surfaces from scaling and fouling

EIT Community connection: EIT Climate-KIC accelerator (EIT Climate-KIC Nordics)

The start-up

The idea: Only with a small change on a heat transfer surface, scaling and fouling can be prevented.  

EIT Community support: The EIT Community has supported us with coaches, networks, masterclasses, funding and coaching. Especially building the business case and the establishment of contacts has been beneficial for our company. 

Teamwork: We are two engineers working full time.

Annemette Hindhede Jensen, Ph.D. Electrochemistry and Materials Science – CEO with excellent networking and presentation skills. As CEO, Annemette is SiOx’s front figure. Annemette maintains a strong focus on bringing the technology from lab to market.

Alexander Bruun Christiansen, Ph.D. Physics and Nanotechnology – R&D Engineer. With a background as Ph.D. Alexander has the ability to pursue a highly scientific approach, to quickly identify the challenges and opportunities for potential applications and costumers for the technology.

Apart from full-time employees, SiOx has a network of collaboration, including the Technical University of Denmark, Alfa Laval and Elplatek. 

Venture development: We have demonstrated the potential of our solution in the lab. Now we are making installations in the market. We have installations in district heating and biogas. We will continue making as many installations as possible and entering new market areas. 

The nominee

The beginning: I have always been interested in nature and well-being. Using abundant non-toxic materials is essential for the sustainability and well-being. 

Learning from experience: Be ambitious. Always. 

Best memory: The best memory was when we opened the test heat exchanger in Alfa Laval and we realized how big a difference can be made. 

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Hans Constandt

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Hans Constandt

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing ONTOFORCE

Product: DISQOVER

Nominated by: EIT Health

Key words: Everybody a DataScientist

Project aim: 

  • Heal patients with smarter data and have a global impact on bringing drugs faster to market.
  • World leader in semantic search & next generation business intelligence for all sectors.

EIT Community connection: Via iMinds/IMEC. We won the EU BPA (business plan aggregator) contest and were selected as number 1 in digital health plus receiving the 3rd price overall companies. EIT GoGlobal in San Francisco also attending Health 2.0. Many pitching events and expert reviews. 

The start-up

The idea: We are becoming a world-class leader in semantic search and we want to disrupt the business intelligence space with our top-notch solution.

EIT Community support: A lot of experts gave us advice and helped us pivot, optimise our pitch, getting entries with customers and partners, reviewing our materials, helping us with go-to-market strategies and much, much more … Thank you!!! 

Teamwork:  I find it a USP as mentioned above. A coherent, motivated team helps a lot. Everybody is happy and you can feel that when you enter the floor. Everybody is willing to help and speaks up, no hidden agendas or egos allowed. We connect our technical folks also to our customers and everyone can lead a project so they all understand the value of their work. They are proud about it and even as we have no dedicated sales, everyone in the company is a sales rep. Nevertheless, we are ultra focused and take (consensus) decisions fast. We use agile programming and call people on their accountabilities. And we work hard and a lot … but it is fun! You don’t live to work but you work to live … so do it well and enjoy it. We also do quite a bit of co-creation and our clients love to work with us. We have met many folks that didn’t enjoy their work but now do have fun again in their jobs because they are helping people fast, add a lot of value and get a lot of recognition. This also stimulates our team a lot, to see happy and engaged customers and users. That’s why we don’t need to do a lot of sales and marketing, every customer brings in new leads easily. 

Venture development: We are in the scale-up phase. We raised EUR 3.2 million in two seed rounds with VCs and dedicated angels. We also raised EUR 1.3 million non-dilutive funding from the Flemish Government for innovation and we might also go for some EU money but we don’t like writing and overheads here … Apologies also if this document is not well written as I, the CEO and founder am doing this alone and in one stretch … focus is on team, customers and product not on writing a lot of plans and contest materials … sorry for that and hope you forgive shortness and typos.

The nominee

The beginning:  I was interested in the field of curing people when I was born, I guess. I was born in Congo with malaria and very sick – six months more dead than alive – and I think that’s where I got my passion to help people and the energy to do this. I am happy my wife and kids still support and love me with all the crazy work and progress … Problem is that I am an IT geek and love maths … I coded and hacked along as a kid and won some maths contests but still started with my med studies at the University of Ghent … and stopped that after four years because I also had a nearly full-time job as coder … I switched to biotechnology and event did three years on a BioInfomatics Ph.D. which I didn’t complete as I had so many nice offers from the industry and the academic world was too slow and political for me … so I started as a consultant doing many great gigs in many verticals for three years. I wanted to learn how you do big software projects with high quality …. After that I was bought out by a pharma multinational as bioinfomatcs account manager where I quickly shifted in a global innovation role and lead in knowledge management … I did great projects at Eli Lilly and have made many friends in the business and IT. Think big and deliver fast in small steps with excellence was my trade mark.  And the next is stipulated above in the start-Up inspiration part.

Learning from experience: Auch .. this is the part where I learned so much … I am even frequently asked in Belgian management schools and in MIT panels to talk about this – openly.

Be genuine and don’t have a hidden agenda or ego. You do more together than alone. Put the right people on the right place on the bus … when I raised my first money, I hired fast and fired slow. Now I hire slow and fire fast. Set objectives from the beginning and set expectations right with every hire, partner, investor and customer. I lost some people in the beginning for not doing this well. Know your weaknesses better than your strengths and surround you with people who are smarter and better than you are. Acknowledge and fill in your gaps as soon as possible. I have a finance person, an HR coach, my right hand and COO and a great board and lots of advisors who I can call any time of the day for help. This also helps me do my best at any time. Money is easy to find … but look for smart committed money, people who truly help you and open their networks. Also I learned in fundraising that when you ask for money, you get advice … but when you ask for advice, you get to the money

Best memory: So many I can’t count them … What inspires me is running into one of the founders of Google and having face to face time with him to talk about how data can save the world … Shaking hands with Tim Berners Lee and not willing to wash it for days … meeting really inspiring CEOs in pharma that are open and accessible like Ayit Shetty, Rudi Pauwels, Paul Stoffels … and meeting great inspiring entrepreneurs like Mike Benioff who inspired me to start the company (guess where the name ontoforce comes from – any idea?)

But one of the best memories is also to see how proud my wife and kids are … little anecdote .. I was pitching in the Valley to a huge crowd and top investors and my 10 year old asked what pitching was over Skype … I said you have to very quickly tell what your company is all about and get their attention to get a next meeting … he said, “pff dad, that’s simple” – “You want to cure patients with smart data” --- told you I don’t need marketers and really cool to see the support at home. Commitment from all fronts is so cool …

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Carsten Mahrenholz

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Carsten Mahrenholz

Award Category: 
Venture Award Nominee

Representing COLDPLASMATECH GmbH

Product: PlasmaCube and PlasmaPatch

Nominated by: EIT Health

Key words: Plasma medicine, chronic wound therapy, killing multi-resistant bacteria, Star-Trek.

Project aim: We are pioneering the next step in modern medicine: Plasma medicine. Our goal is to treat chronic wound patients and kill multi-resistant bacteria.

EIT Community connection: EIT Health Germany, Winner of the Business Plan Accelerator “best of the best” 2016 and winner of the public award in Barcelona.

The start-up

The idea: A Star Trek-like medical device that uses cold plasma to kill multi-resistant bacteria and treat even chronic wounds. It’s not an idea – it’s real. We already have CE Conformity.

EIT Community support: Networking, access to EU markets, communication, press events (e.g. Paris), personal help and feedback from Kurt, Laura, etc.

Teamwork:  Teamwork is everything. Everyone went through a big personal and professional transition. Without the others, everyone would have failed. We are highly diversified in profession and character and very close. What started on a professional basis soon became friendship. Now it’s “one for all and all for one”. As CEO, I know that everyone would support me in my decisions (even if it means more workload or less free time), and they know I am watching their back. 

Venture development: There are eight of us so far and are setting up line-production with big companies (Wacker Chemie, Dätwyler, Schreiner Group…). We already have CE Conformity for our disposable patches and are in the process of applying according to the medical devices act and are collaborating with several health insurance companies to prepare market access. To ensure reimbursement, we are starting another clinical study for reimbursement in Q3/2017.

The nominee

The beginning:  I studied biology, did a Ph.D. in chemistry and studied economics. It was about time to do something with plasma physics! I always wanted to combine my passion for science and economics, and when I was CEO of a tech-transfer company, I had the chance to co-write a proposal for a new technology and was offered the chance to lead the workgroup. So, I developed the product with my team. I founded COLDPLASMATECH in 2015 with the whole workgroup (leaving the scientific surrounding), was in charge of two companies for a year and started to focus completely on the start-up in 2016, since it was more fun and needed more attention. 

Learning from experience: Talk to many people, learn from them and their failures and then (keeping that in mind): find your own way! Because no one can do that for you. 

Best memory: There are many great moments. But the most memorable: A 21-years old, severely burned girl, became infected with a superbug and was about to die from that. We had to do something and built a plasma-cannon overnight to treat her. She eventually received a transplant and survived. 

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Shireen Sindi

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Shireen Sindi

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing Multi-Mode

Evidence-based e-health tools to predict dementia risk and prevent cognitive decline/dementia among risk individuals.

Key facts

  • Project started: 2016
  • Innovation Community: EIT Health
  • Theme:  Healthy aging
  • No. of partners: 5

Overview

Dementia is a global challenge with major burdens and no currently available cures. The goal of MULTI-MODE is to develop and commercialise innovative evidence-based eHealth tools for:

  • Dementia risk prediction in various at-risk populations,
  • Multi-domain lifestyle intervention to prevent cognitive decline and postpone dementia onset. These products will be promoted and implemented in diverse public and private settings, for use by citizens and health professionals.

Various target populations will benefit from the MULTI-MODE eHealth tools, including middle-aged and older adults, patients in memory clinic settings, caregivers, and health professionals in both public and private sectors.

Teamwork

The collaborative team work has led to the development of the risk scores and the Dementia Risk Predictor App. All partners are involved in the pilot study to assess the App usage in various settings. 

Ground-breaking innovation

The MULTI-MODE Dementia Risk Score App is novel and unique, as it is the only evidence-based App that can detect dementia risk among various age groups, using easily available demographic and lifestyle risk factors.

Societal impact

As the ageing population continues to increase worldwide, dementia has become a global challenge and health priority according to the G8 Dementia Summit and the WHO. With no cures currently available for dementia, and dementia/AD drug trials having failed, development and implementation of risk detection and intervention approaches to postpone dementia onset is crucial.

With its multi-disciplinary team, the MULTI-MODE approach is unique in using individual risk signatures to prevent cognitive decline while starting integrated lifestyle modifications prior to the onset of symptoms.

Successful prevention will substantially reduce individual suffering and societal costs.

More information

ki.se/en/nvs/eit-health-project-aims-to-prevent-dementia-by-developing-new-innovations

nordicbrainnetwork.com/

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Çiçek Çavdar

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Çiçek Çavdar

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing ICARO-EU

Seamless gate-to-gate mobile broadband connectivity for aircraft passengers

Key facts

  • Project started: 2016
  • Innovation Community: EIT Digital
  • Theme:  Digital Infrastructure
  • Funding generated: EUR 6.2 million
  • No. of partners: 5

Overview

ICARO-EU is an integrated gate-to-gate Direct Air-to-Ground Communications (DA2GC) system that seamlessly connects network infrastructures on aircraft with ground cellular networks to provide passengers with broadband services and cellular coverage.

Teamwork

ICARO-EU is an EIT Digital Infrastructure innovation activity with the following partners: Airbus Group, Ericsson, Create-Net, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (lead partner).

Ground-breaking innovation

ICARO-EU will enable high speed broadband simultaneously to European aircraft passengers, hence giving its users choice of using 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and/or Wi-Fi as well as

uninterrupted connectivity from departure all the way to arrival, i.e. “gate-to-gate”. ICARO-EU will provide seamless mobile broadband service without requiring any user intervention to maintain connectivity. Performance is powerful: 2 - 3 Mbps per customer, or 400 Mbps per aircraft.

EIT Digital support

In addition to the funding, the main source of support from EIT Digital for the ICARO-EU Innovation Activity has been Henrik Abramowicz, the Digital Infrastructure Action Line Leader from the EIT Digital Stockholm Node.

Societal impact

Today, passengers don’t have the option of using their mobile phones for broadband connection when they are on board aircraft. Only a few airlines provide Wi-Fi access after take-off.

ICARO-EU aims to provide gate-to-gate aircraft connectivity integrated through a high-capacity Direct Air-to-Ground Communications system with ground cellular networks. Hence, ICARO-EU will enable high-speed broadband Internet connectivity over 4G for European aircraft passengers, giving users the chance to travel gate-to-gate without losing connectivity.

ICARO-EU will bring in-cabin, in-flight connectivity to the masses by providing considerably more affordable access than is available today.

More information

Çiçek Çavdar

ICARO EU Activity Leader

e-mail: cavdar@kth.se

t: +44 87 90 43 30

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Wilfried Dron

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Wilfried Dron

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing Wisebatt

A tool allowing designers to predict battery life and product failure. 

Key facts

  • Project started: 2016
  • Innovation Community: EIT Digital
  • Theme:  Digital IndustryDigital Industry
  • Funding generated: EUR 637 000
  • No. of partners: 3 + 1 start-up created

Overview

In the world of battery-powered devices, short battery life is an ongoing and growing issue - both for the engineers who develop systems and for their end users.

Battery aging, component behaviour, varying temperatures and communication methods can affect the autonomy of a device in unexpected ways. It is therefore complex to accurately assess the life of battery powered devices, especially in the early stages of the design cycle.

The usual method of estimating the battery life of a device when designing it is to build a prototype, let it run and test it, but it's time consuming, expensive and requires expertise. It also often means that key technological choices and design decisions are taken without being able to quantify their impact on battery life.

And when the device is in use, battery gauges are usually not precise enough to offer accurate battery discharge estimation. Devices are at risk of shutting off before the expected time, which can be dangerous for critical applications such as health or security.

Teamwork

The start-up team consists of Wilfried Dron (inventor of the technology, co-founder & CEO), Marion Blatter (product owner, co-founder and in charge of the user experience), who lead the company together, and Pedro Lusich, Imane Khalis and Hrishikesh Bhosale, C/C++ developers.

The project team consists of Niklas Wirström, Researcher at SICS (Sweden), Martin Wagner, Senior Consultant at Atos Research & Innovation (Spain) and Khalil Hachicha, Associate Professor at LIP6-UPMC (France).

Ground-breaking innovation

To address these issues, the EIT Digital activity developed two products:

  • ESTIMATE is a tool that helps software and hardware engineers to first estimate and then optimise the battery life of the device that they are designing. It is available as a “software as a service” and essentially targets companies that are designing products for which battery life is critical (medical devices, wearables, security devices, etc.).
  • AWARENESS is an artificial intelligence programme that can predict exactly when a device will fail due to lack of power, i.e. a lack of energy remaining in its battery. In addition, it is able to operate remotely and is also able to detect early aging of the battery. 

Societal impact

Reliability – Every day, people get annoyed when their phone’s battery life drops unexpectedly, but when the same phenomenon occurs with a pacemaker or with industrial devices, issues can be far more dramatic. Alongside security, power is still a weak point that can make electronic devices less reliable. Because a battery is a chemical object whose behaviour and lifetime varies greatly depending on external factors (temperature, production), it is difficult to estimate the energy autonomy of a battery powered device early in the design cycle. When engineers face unsatisfactory autonomy and do not have the possibility to perform a redesign, they often have to increase the size of the battery so that it lasts longer. This leads to bigger devices that are also heavier, consume more material resources and pollute more.

Environment - With the exponential growth in the number of connected objects in the world, battery waste can have a huge impact on the environment. Batteries contain heavy metals that can contaminate the environment when batteries are poorly disposed of. During incineration, some metals can be released into the air or can be concentrated in the ash with detrimental environmental consequences. With our software ESTIMATE, engineers can finally make informed choices between desired energy autonomy, battery size and cost of production. We believe that civic engagement can and should come both from the general public and from enterprises. By empowering engineers and companies to bring the best devices possible to the world, we hope to facilitate this public engagement. 

Commercial ethics - Many battery powered devices advertise a battery life that is utterly deceptive, raising questions of morality and integrity. As one of our clients says: ‘Many connected objects promise autonomies that are not tenable. For me it is essential to be honest with the user. This precision that Wisebatt brings us allows us to make commitments on the autonomy that we can really stand in front of our users.’

Science Education - ESTIMATE is a very simple tool to use, which means that it can be used as a tool for teachers in universities and other higher education settings. We also aim to educate the general public through civil society organisations and educate and support policy makers.

More information

Contact: wilfried.dron@wisebatt.com

wisebatt.com 

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Stefan Reber

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Stefan Reber

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing EpiComm

Solar wafer epitaxial growth technology to decrease production costs of solar cell manufacturing

Key facts

  • Project started: 2016
  • Innovation Community: EIT InnoEnergy
  • Theme:  Renewable Energy
  • Funding generated: EUR 1.9 million
  • No. of partners: 5

Overview

NexWafe´s product is a true drop-in replacement for current Czochralski (Cz) silicon wafers. The company will help solar cell producers increase their bottom line earnings (compared to conventional wafer production) through:

  • drastically reduced silicon usage
  • dramatically less energy consumption
  • significantly reduced CAPEX

NexWafe targets the market for n-type mono-crystalline silicon wafers, for high-efficiency solar photovoltaics, by providing reliable and drop-in monocrystalline wafers of superior quality that are fully compatible with common cell and module fabrication processes at a fraction of the cost of standard wafers.

Teamwork

The project has five partners, three of which are companies operating in the solar energy sector and two are research institutes with expertise along the whole value chain of the project. The partners are located in Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Project partners are representatives of the product value chain: NexWafe as commercialisation partner and Ecosolifer and Fill Factory as first users. First users have the unique opportunity to benefit early from the advantage of the EpiWafers technology and its impact on product quality and cost production.

Fraunhofer, as initial R&D centre at the origin of the technology, benefits from previously aquired agreements with NexWafe.

EIT InnoEnergy and the consortium are engaged under a fee agreement that considers the return of EIT InnoEnergy’s investment and a risk premium over the coming years. 

Ground-breaking innovation

NexWafe’s kerfless wafer technology hits the sweet spot of photovoltaic industry needs by combining a true drop-in replacement for costly Cz silicon wafers with a high cost-reduction potential:

  • Providing a drop-in replacement for Cz wafers guarantees easy use in existing solar cell and module production lines
  • High quality n-type silicon wafers enable solar cell manufacturers to produce high solar cell efficiencies
  • Higher average cell efficiency by supplying wafers with a narrow quality distribution and full-square wafers
  • Unbeatable wafer costs by minimising energy and material consumption and improving capital efficiency 

Societal impact

  • The product strengthens the portfolio of available photovoltaic solutions, the fastest growing renewable energy source
  • Manufacturing of photovoltaic equipment brings industrial jobs back to the EU
  • The manufacturing model drastically reduces the carbon footprint of producing n-type wafers

More information

nexwafe.com

 

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York Ostermeyer

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

York Ostermeyer

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing SusCool

More Food Quality for less Energy

Next generation sensor solutions and load management for sustainable food cooling

Key facts

  • Project started: 01.01.2017
  • Innovation Community: EIT Climate-KIC
  • Theme:  Urban Transition
  • Funding generated: EUR 2 million
  • No. of partners:  10

Overview

SusCool works on next generation energy concepts for supermarkets and cooling chains of food. The project combines advanced sensors, machine learning and energy modelling to identify optimal solutions for load management in food cooling.

As a commercial spin-out, the project developed a sensor holder combined with an optimised scheme for positioning and load management. The implementing craftsman is guided through the installation by a smartphone app. The smartphone app also enables the documentation of the process, ensures the quality of the implementation and generates a database that will be used by the client to build his future energy efficiency strategy.

After the implementation of the sensor holder and the optimisation of the load management system, the cooling cabinets run significantly more stable and consume less energy, resulting in a return on investment of around two years.

The concept is currently scaled with Germany’s second biggest supermarket chain, the REWE Group, wholly owning 12,500 supermarkets. 400 supermarkets will be modified in 2017 – a contract for the spin-off worth EUR 2 million. The market volume in Germany alone is a potential EUR 135 million, with potential emission savings in the range of 120,000 tonnes per year.

EIT Climate-KIC support

EIT Climate-KIC enabled the team to turn its research findings from previous projects into a commercial product and service.

Support from the Urban Transition theme of EIT Climate-KIC was invaluable in making the most of it.

The EIT Community will be crucial to building further services that build on the data generated in the project. 

Teamwork

The project includes a wide array of competences, from informatics, mathematics, building physics and energy science to food science and biology. It is for all of us the most interdisciplinary team we have ever worked in and also the most rewarding.

The project is more than fortunate to have a client in the REWE group that meets its understanding on the need and benefits of holistic solutions, going beyond thinking in silos. The REWE Group has been an invaluable partner in understanding the framework conditions and turning a good idea into a great product and service.

This is matched by a team that is willing and able to work beyond the boundaries of their orginal disciplines and apply and openly share their expertise to go the extra mile to make a difference.

Ground-breaking innovation

The team combines state-of-the-art and beyond models from several fields in a holistic effort to address one of the most energy consuming sectors – cooling.

The result is a product and a service that can be applied to every cooling cabinet and reduce its energy consumption by 3-10%, depending on the type of cabinet and cooling concept, while at the same time increasing the lifetime of the food stored in the cabinet.

In addition, the project introduces software support into a traditionally very fractured segment of the construction industry that is, as a result, prone to human errors. Via a smartphone application, the quality of the installation is dramatically increased.

Societal impact

Every person in the EU is directly affected by food cooling and gaps in the cooling chain. When not handled properly, food has a reduced life, as bacteria grows exponentially faster at higher temperatures. Temperature fluctuations in cooling cabinets is one of the main reasons for this.

Food stored at a constant temperature of 6 degree Celsius will have a significantly longer life than the same food stored at temperature levels varying between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius, even if the average temperature is the same. This normally is not relevant in the supermarkets themselves, because food is discarded based on the estimated life on the food packaging. It is, however, very relevant for the end consumer who discards food when signs of mould are visible.

The ChillService product and service contribute directly to a longer life of food, less food waste and fewer health problems related to insufficient food quality and freshness.

More information

bta.climate-kic.org (flagship framework homepage)

chillservices.de (homepage of project spin-off)

bta.climate-kic.org/news/how-some-smart-guys-cool-down-the-energy-consumption-in-supermarkets/ (newsletter)

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Martin Steinberg

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Martin Steinberg

Award Category: 
Innovators Award Nominee

Representing Stockholm3

Improved prostate cancer diagnostics

Key facts

  • Project started: 2017
  • Innovation Community: EIT Health
  • Theme:  Early intervention/ disease prevention
  • Funding generated: EUR 1.8 million
  • No. of partners: 8

Overview

The Stockholm3 test is a blood test that increases the detection of aggressive cancers by 20% and, at the same time, reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies by 50% compared to current clinical practice. The Stockholm3 test also identifies men with aggressive prostate cancer with low PSA values (1-3 ng/ml) which is crucial for early detection. These test characteristics are unique and opens a new clinical gold standard test.

Teamwork

The development of the Stockholm3 test is based on close public/private collaboration between academia, industry and health care providers (HCPs). The main study with more than 58,000 participants was financed by Stockholm County Council that provides healthcare to approximately 2 million inhabitants, the research was led by the Karolinska Institutet, and the technical platform was provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific.

EIT Health support

  • Catalyst for HCP/industry/academia cooperation for testing, validation and market access
  • Vehicle to accelerate the uptake and acceptance of the concept
  • Additional financing to facilitate the partnership between participants of the project

Ground-breaking innovation

The Stockholm3 test combines five protein markers, over 100 genetic markers, clinical data and a proprietary algorithm to detect the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. The test is based on research conducted at the Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific. The Stockholm3 test has been validated in a clinical study with more than 58,000 participants. The results have been published in numerous scientific journals, including The Lancet Oncology, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology and European Urology Focus. The Stockholm 3 test has been validated in clinical use in Sweden and Norway.

Societal impact

By reducing unnecessary biopsies and treatments by more than 50% and mortality up to 20%, the Stockholm3 test will have a significant positive impact on society by reducing individual harm based on over-diagnosis, mortality and overall healthcare costs.

  • Fewer men will have to undertake prostate biopsies, which are painful and can lead to severe infections
  • Fewer men will have to undertake unnecessary treatments with side effects such as primarily infections, but shorter periods of erectile dysfunction can occur
  • Aggressive cancers will be detected early in more men and thus confer a greater chance of survival
  • The economic burden for payers/society will be significantly reduced. This will be due to fewer biopsies and fewer unnecessary curative treatments, active surveillance of insignificant tumors and procedure-related morbidity

More information

www.sthlm3.se

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Connect, Collaborate and Innovate @ EIT CONNECT 2017

Connect, Collaborate and Innovate at EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017 with fellow entrepreneurs and like-minded souls! Taking place in Budapest on 15 and 16 October, more than 100 students and alumni from the EIT Community will come together to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and experiences at EIT Alumni CONNECT. Participants will also have the chance to attend INNOVEIT, the EIT’s annual Innovation Forum.

EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017 in Budapest on 15 and 16 October

The EIT Alumni CONNECT event will bring together more than 100 students and alumni from across the EIT Community.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Share knowledge and experience and discuss their entrepreneurial ideas with fellow students and alumni from all the EIT’s Innovation Communities
  • Find potential partners for future collaboration opportunities
  • Take part in a stimulating and challenging co-creation session with NGOs
  • Gain valuable advice and insights from alumni presenting their own success stories
  • Meet the current EIT Alumni Board and have a say in shaping the future of the EIT Alumni Community

EIT Alumni CONNECT Programme Outline

DAY 1 - 15 October (SUNDAY)

Time                        Session

11:00 - 12:00       Welcome and Registration

12:00 - 13:00       Networking lunch

13:00 - 13:30       Ice breaker session

13:30 - 18:00       EIT Alumni CONNECT 

  • Opening address
  • Current state of play of EIT Alumni Community                                                       
  • Update on EIT Alumni Activities
  • NGO co-creation session

19:00 - 22:00      EIT Alumni Networking Dinner

DAY 2 - 16 October (MONDAY)

Time                      Session

09:00 - 09:15     Wake-up with the EIT Alumni                          

09:15 - 12:00     EIT Alumni CONNECT

  • EIT Alumni success stories
  • Key note speaker
  • Future mapping session – EIT Alumni in 2020                                                        

12:00 - 13:00    EIT Alumni Lunch

EIT Alumni CONNECT is an event created by alumni for alumni. It is tailor-made for those students/alumni who:

  • are motivated to contribute to the development of the EIT Alumni Community
  • are eager to collaborate with students and alumni from other Innovation Communities

The EIT together with the Innovation Communities will enable more than 100 students and alumni to participate in EIT Alumni CONNECT 2017, including those who currently study in an EIT labelled/KIC Master or PHD programme or have graduated from an EIT labelled/KIC Master or PhD programme. The list of Master and PhD programmes can be found here.

Students and alumni will also participate at INNOVEIT 2017 – the EIT Innovation Forum – where they have the chance to:

  • meet and discuss their ideas with successful innovators and entrepreneurs, including EIT Awards nominees, as well as EU and national policy makers and innovation experts;
  • meet and network with the EIT Community;
  • provide their ideas and opinions on the EIT`s plan and strategy for the future, especially at the Stakeholder Forum.

Watch the EIT Alumni Community video here.

For more information on the EIT Alumni Community, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or check out their website.

  • Best of INNOVEIT 2016 - The EIT Innovation Forum
  • EIT Innovation
  • How the EIT brings to you the future of Europe?
  • Innovate with us!
  • EIT Community
Alkotas ut 63-67, 1123 BUDAPEST - HUNGARY

Where will INNOVEIT 2017 be held?

In the Budapest Congress Centre which is connected to the Novotel Budapest City hotel.

If you wish to benefit from the preferential rate at Novotel Budapest City, please feel free to use this booking form.

How to get there?

By taxi: transfer from the airport will take around 30 minutes.

By train: the hotel is about 1 km from Déli Railway Station, on Alkotás út. From the station, take tram 61 or 17 in the direction of Móricz Zsigmond körtér, getting off at BAH Csomópont. The Congress Centre is in the park.

By car: GPS coordinates: N 47° 29' 18.39'' E 19° 1' 25.44''  

For detailed information, please visit the Budapest Congress Centre or Novotel Budapest City website.                                     

Register for INNOVEIT 2017