The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is pleased to announce the winners of the 9th EIT Awards: Anna Vanderbruggen (CHANGE Award); Bernhard Adler (Innovators Award); Christoph Berger (Venture Award); Catherine Schreiber (Women Leadership Award); and Sabrina Maria Malpede (Public Award) have been awarded the top prizes for their innovations in the fields of raw materials, clean technology, energy efficiency and health.
The winners of this year’s EIT Awards, which aim to promote innovation in the fields of climate, energy, digitalisation, food, health, manufacturing, raw materials, and urban mobility, were announced yesterday, 11 October 2022, at a vibrant ceremony held during the EIT Summit in Brussels, Belgium. 27 nominees competed in an online semi-final on 29 September, after which 12 finalists were chosen and ranked by an international jury, with an additional prize being awarded through a public vote.
It is clear that new innovations will be key to tackling pressing global problems from climate change to energy to food security. This year’s winners have demonstrated that there are promising solutions emerging from across Europe which are set to transform society and position our continent as a global leader. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients and to all the nominees; they are our role models for change.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
The EIT Summit, at which the awards were announced, featured round-table discussions about Europe’s innovation ecosystem with MEPs, European Commissioners, CEOs and EIT representatives. It marked the final day of INNOVEIT WEEKS, Europe’s largest innovation event series of the year, which took place in September and October across ten locations in Europe. Attendees met EIT-supported entrepreneurs and innovators and discovered more about how the EIT is helping to drive innovation, learning about key EU policies such as the EU Green Deal in action, and the EIT’s integral work of supporting solutions that address some of globe’s biggest challenges including climate change, health and energy among others.
I want to congratulate the achievements of this year’s winners and nominees who have distinguished themselves with their transformative solutions. As Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, the EIT’s mission is to drive innovation forward and bring together business, research and education to solve global challenges. Each of the 2022 EIT Award winners emulate this mission, and we will continue to support these and other entrepreneurs through every step of their journey, from their initial idea to a successful product or service for a brighter Europe.
Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chair of the EIT Governing Board
2022 EIT Awards Categories
The EIT Awards fall into four main categories:
- The CHANGE Award acknowledges top graduates from EIT entrepreneurial education programmes.
- The Innovators Award commends teams and individuals that have developed high-impact products and services.
- The Venture Award highlights remarkable start-ups that have benefited from financial support from the EIT Community.
- The Women Leadership Award highlights exceptional women involved with the EIT Community.
The public also had its say with the EIT Public Award, awarded to the public's three favorite innovations. Online voting started on September 29 and concluded on the 11 October.
Three winners were chosen in each of the categories and awarded a first-place prize of EUR 50 000, EUR 20 000 for second place, and EUR 10 000 for third place.
Meet the winners:
CHANGE Award: Anna Vanderbruggen, a researcher who works for the start-up Erzlabor, won first place for developing a revolutionary new way to extract graphite from lithium-ion batteries. Her method, the first of its kind, separates the fine powder from crushed lithium-ion batteries in order to obtain two valuable products instead of one. This process enables the efficient and highly-selective recycling of both graphite and metals from used lithium-ion batteries. It could lead to a truly circular battery supply chain and decrease the environmental footprint of battery production as well as reliance on raw material imports from outside the EU.
Innovators Award: Bernhard Adler took the top prize for his rotation heat pump, a highly innovative clean technology that combines the advantages of heat pump technology with a centrifuge. It will help speed up the energy transition by providing cleaner, low-carbon industrial heat.
Venture Award: Christoph Berger was awarded first place for developing the Vilisto system, a self-learning thermostat that improves energy efficiency in non-residential buildings. In offices and educational institutions, many rooms are unused 80% of the time yet are heated non-stop since usage patterns are not usually taken into account. Vilisto can help companies and municipalities save up to 32% of their heat consumption and reduce their CO2 emissions.
Women Leadership Award: Catherine Schreiber, CEO and co-founder of ADVITOS, won first place for developing a 4-in-1 organ support therapy for critically-ill patients. Together with Dr Bernhard Kreymann, her co-founder, she created the device from scratch, launching it from an idea to an EU market-approved (CE mark) product. She now runs a fully-certified MedTech company with 70 employees that boasts numerous awards.
Public Award: Sabrina Maria Malpede, co-founder and Managing Director of ACT Blade Ltd, which develops the lightest, most controllable and sustainable wind turbine blade on the market. The ACR Blade is a big technological step forward in the ability to harness wind power and exploit aeroelastic science and expertise. It was awarded an EIT InnoEnergy innovation project grant in 2018 to develop the first full scale blade. The innovation was developed by Sabrina during her doctorate studies at the University of Glasgow and has already been employed in the sail design for racing yachts competing in the America's Cup.
Full list of 2022 EIT Awards winners, including 2nd and 3rd place:
EIT CHANGE Award: 1. Anna Vanderbruggen, France 2. Waliyah Sahqani, Finland 3. Federico Barbieri, Italy
EIT Innovators Award: 1. Bernhard Adler, Austria 2. Morteza Ghorbani, Denmark 3. Jean-Louis Pepin, France
EIT Venture Award: 1. Christoph Berger, Germany 2. Alejandro Trenor, Spain 3. Hans Heyn, Germany
EIT Women Leadership Award: 1. Catherine Schreiber, Germany 2. Sabrina Maria Malpede, Italy 3. Andrea Barber Lazcano, Spain
EIT Public Award: 1. Sabrina Maria Malpede, Italy 2. Jean-Louis Pepin, France 3. Federico Barbieri, Italy