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New European Prize for Women Innovators launched by the European Innovation Council and European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) are taking their partnership to the next level to organise the revamped European Prize for Women Innovators. This bigger and bolder competition will reward an even wider community of women innovators, celebrating their achievements and giving them more opportunities than ever. 

I’m extremely proud to witness the level of collaboration the EIC and EIT are engaged in to support European innovators and especially women. Every woman with the ideas and drive to create the future of Europe should take advantage of this new opportunity. I’m looking forward to showing everyone what’s possible when women take the lead and reach their full potential!

European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager

This new award is a great way for Europe to show its shared commitment to innovation and gender equality. It’s a cause that will bring the EIC and EIT closer together – natural allies in breaking down barriers to women in business and tech. My hope is for a large field of competing women innovators and entrepreneurs so we can show the diversity in European tech!

European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas

Three winners will be announced at the European Innovation Council Summit in March 2024; one in  each of the following categories:

  • Women Innovators: This category is open to all women founders and co-founders from across the EU and Associated Countries. The winner is awarded EUR 100 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 70 000 and EUR 50 000 respectively.
  • Rising Innovators: This category is open to promising young innovators under the age of 35. The winner is awarded EUR 50 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively.
  • EIT Women Leadership: This category is open to those with a direct link to the EIT Community or one of the existing Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The winner is awarded EUR 50 000, and two runners-up are awarded EUR 30 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively.

If you think you meet the criteria for any of these awards, don’t hesitate to apply starting 1 June 2023. You’ll have until 27 September 2023 (17.00 CET).

Apply for the EIT Women Leadership Award 

Apply for the Rising Innovators Prize

Apply for the Women Innovators Prize

Please consult the Rules of contest before submitting your application.

An award designed to celebrate women and inspire Europe

These awards will be given to the most inspiring women entrepreneurs whose groundbreaking innovation is creating a positive impact for people and planet. By spotlighting their ingenuity, the European Prize for Women Innovators will show the central role women can (and should) play in creating a new more sustainable Europe, and inspire people of all ages to join the new vision the EIC and EIT are building of women as tech and climate leaders.

Removing barriers to women in business and tech

The EIC and EIT know that systemic barriers still pose obstacles to women’s advancement in the realms of technological innovation and business. That’s why they’ve made women’s empowerment in those sectors core to their mission.

Women are an important source of talent that too often are discouraged or turned away from the world of tech. The EIT’s own study in association with Dealroom revealed that inclusivity unlocks Europe’s potential for innovation. In fact, it found that women-founded tech scale-ups grew 1.2x faster than their competitors over the past five years showing the degree of potential Europe can tap if it makes tech more inclusive to women.

By contrast, excluding women is a huge risk the tech world cannot afford to make. Studies already show that without women’s perspectives and inclusion in the creation of cutting-edge tech, sectors like AI could actually fail to meet people’s real needs and instead reproduce the inequities and harms already present in our status quo.

The European Prize for Women Innovators is now the latest in a series of steps the EIC and EIT are taking to make sure Europe can make the most of inclusive innovation. It won’t just decide winners and who gets prizes – it will connect women innovators, give them a chance to network and build out a community, and help boost the future number of women in leadership roles by normalising the idea of women in charge.

Questions? Here’s how you can reach us

Questions regarding the Women Innovators and Rising Innovators categories should be sent to

Questions for the EIT category should be sent to