Using intelligence gathered with the Innovation Radar method, the European Commission has, since 2015, been awarding the annual Innovation Radar Prize to the best EU-funded innovators.

The 2017 Innovation Radar Prize scheme

In 2017, 48 innovators were identified to compete for the Innovation Radar Prize. The public was invited to vote for their favourite innovators from among these 48 in a month-long public vote that closed on 15 October 2017. On the basis of this vote, 20 finalists in five categories were identified.

The categories were:

  • Tech for Society– recognising technologies impacting society and citizens
  • Excellent Science - cutting-edge science underpinning tomorrow's technological advances
  • Industrial & Enabling Tech- the next generation of tech and components supporting industry
  • Best Young SME - recognising dynamic young SMEs (established in 2011 or later) who are developing great innovations with EU-funding
  • Best early stage innovation- recognising innovations showing promise at early stages of EU-funded projects

The 20 finalists pitched their plans for going to market with their EU-funded innovation to a jury of experts at the at ICT Proposers' Day in Budapest on 9 November 2017.

CATEC: overall winner of the Innovation Radar Prize 2017

The overall winner of the Innovation Radar Prize in 2017was CATEC, a major European research centre for aviation technologies in Spain.

CATEC developed "AEROARMS" drones that not only allow to "see" from air but also to "touch and feel". The CATEC drones will be used to perform industrial inspections (such as ultrasonic) that require contact. Using the drones will speed up the process of many tasks and creates safer work environments (for example in oil or gas refineries), as users don't have to work at great height anymore. Market expectations of EUR 300 million/year just in Europe motivated CATEC to patent its technology.

Learn more about CATEC in this euronews feature.

Category winners in 2017

The 2017 winner for the Tech for Society category was Amphiro, a spin-off company from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. With the support of the EU-funded DAIAD project they managed to develop an energy-autarkic smart shower monitor which allows users to keep track of their energy and water consumption using an app on their smartphone.

The winner of the Industrial & Enabling Tech category was the Portuguese SME PLUX. In the scope of EU-funded RAPID-MIX project they developed BITalino, an innovative low-cost toolkit for rapid prototyping of wearable devices and biomedical signal acquisition. Their work is currently at TRL 9, comprising wireless hardware, multi-platform software, programming APIs, post-processing algorithms, cloud connectivity, and many others.

The winner of the best young SMEcategory was LeanXcale, a Spanish start-up that created a next generation database management system. Within the EU-funded project LeanBigData, they developed a system that combines operational and analytical capabilities, delivering real-time Big Data.

The winner of the best early stage innovation category is BLUMORPHO in partnership with CEA LETI. Brought together under the EU gateone project, they developed a sensor which will reduce the cost of Magnetoencephalography (MEG), an extremely accurate procedure of mapping brains, by a factor of 5.

The winner of the Excellent Science category was University College Cork from Ireland. Funded under the EU VIP project, the UCC team developed a new, simple and cheap platform of visualising many types of molecules from bacterial or human cells, to accelerate the development of medicines, or for use in novel diagnostics.

Innovation Radar Prize winners of previous years

2016 - Intrinsic ID

In 2016 the overall Innovation Radar prize was awarded to Intrinsic-ID, a Dutch SME, which developed a unique technology and has become a world leader in security systems. Their technology - authentication technology based on the electronic fingerprint of devices - was developed within the EU-funded project PUFFIN. Intrinsic ID are today selling this technology to customers around the world. Learn more about Intrinsic ID in this euronews feature.

2015 - Broadbit

The first ever Innovation Radar Prize was awarded to BroadBit, during the ICT 2015 event in Lisbon. Since then, BroadBit, an SME originally from Slovakia but now based in Finland, have raised additional finance to fund expansion and production of their innovative battery technology. Learn more about BroadBit in this euronews feature.