We are very proud to announce that three EIT InnoEnergy nominees took home 1st place EIT Awards out of five categories at the EIT Summit in Brussels on 11 October. 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. Each winner received a first-place prize of EUR 50 000.
Innovators Award: Bernhard Adler founder and CEO of EIT-InnoEnergy supported ecop, 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.
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.
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.