Wins and risks in research and innovation

Two Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) projects, Lumiblast and FutureAgriculture, shaped up well at the 2019 Innovation Radar Awards, landing a category winner prize.

Two Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) projects competed against 10 other EU-funded projects for the 2019 Innovation Radar Awards, which was held September 24-26 at the Research & Innovation Days’ Innovative Europe Hub in Brussels.

Europe’s tide is shifting towards generating commercial impact as it works on nurturing its innovation ecosystems through a series of initiatives, one of which is the Innovation Radar (IR). Its overall objective is to identify high-potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded projects and help them get their ideas out of the lab and into the market.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said the Innovation Radar continues to demonstrate the excellence of technology and science projects in Europe. “EU funding, such as Horizon 2020 helps support these projects to the benefit of all Europeans.”

A total number of 36 projects were first nominated into the Innovation Radar. The public then voted for their favourite innovators from four categories namely, Tech for Society, Innovative Science, Industrial & Enabling Tech, and Women-led Innovations. After three weeks, 12 out of the 36 projects were selected as finalists and competed for the final round of the award through a pitching session. Five members of the jury, all of whom are involved in entrepreneurship, investment or start-ups, listened to their pitches and hand-picked the winners for each category and the overall Innovation Radar prize winner.

Two Future and Emerging Technologies projects emerged as finalists for the Innovation Radar Award: Lumiblast and FutureAgriculture. The former is developing a non-invasive cancer therapy to treat inaccessible tumours using mitochondria-powered chemiluminescence, while the latter is revolutionising present-day agriculture through artificial photosynthesis. Both projects’ partners competed for the ‘Innovative Science’ category, and Lumiblast’s Oslo University Hospital ended up winning it.

Other FET projects that made the first round of the Innovation Radar include:


The overall Innovation Radar Prize winner 2019 was the SUPSI project from Switzerland for their lead role in developing robotic tech capable of executing repair tasks in harsh industrial environments.

The competition demonstrates that research in Europe is evolving scientists are more accepting of the risks entailed in entering the market. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, added that the EU will continue to champion the innovation and expertise which is found across Europe.

Click on the following links to access more prize information:

Photo by Christopher Paul High on Unsplash