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ideas into new, effective solutions for Europe.

They are showing us new ways to innovate, and

I am proud that the EIT activities have

contributed to their success. Europe needs

more success stories like these and the EIT can

deliver them.”

Venturing ahead

The EIT Venture Award was first presented in

2012 and focuses on showcasing successful

entrepreneurial start-ups that are developing

some of Europe’s most promising innovations.

According to the EIT, the award places

‘successful entrepreneurial start-ups in the

spotlight’, in particular those ‘that have been

supported by the KICs via a dedicated business

creation or business development process’.

Speaking about his win, Regner Paaske said:

“Billions of everyday products require electricity

power converters, but the technology has not

developed significantly for 30 years. Our

solution increases the reliability and affordability

of these everyday products that we rarely think

about. For us, innovation is about impacting real

people’s lives, and I think this award will fuel

momentum to ensure a lasting impact on

climate change.”

Adding his thoughts in a press conference after

the ceremony, Paaske commented: “The award

is a great recognition that we are on to

something that is … really useful and relevant

for society ... it is also an honour for us as a

team, because it is the team doing it ... and at

the same time, it is a reminder that we only

need to speed up.”

Richard Pelly, one of the adjudicating panel

members, spoke of the high potential of the

product: “Regnar’s truly innovative project

brings together breakthrough tech and a great

team with solid finance to attack a huge market

for LED lighting and converters while helping all


part of INNOVEIT 2015, the European Institute of

Innovation and Technology rewarded the next generation

of innovators and entrepreneurs at the institute’s annual

awards ceremony. Finalists were selected for three awards from each of

the EIT’s established Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC),

namely EIT Digital, KIC InnoEnergy and Climate-KIC, and each winner

secures key EIT publicity.

Attending this year’s ceremony in Budapest, Hungary, in May, Portal saw

the EIT Venture Award go to Climate-KIC’s Regnar Paaske, co-founder

of Nordic Power Converters in Denmark, in recognition of his imaginative

redesign of power converters. The EIT CHANGE Award was given to KIC

InnoEnergy’s Govinda Upadhyay for his design of a simple and affordable

solar LED lamp, whilst the EIT Innovators Award was presented to KIC

InnoEnergy’s Rajai Aghabi, chief executive of EOLOS Floating LIDAR

Solutions based in Spain, for breaking new ground in the field of

affordable wind energy.

Commenting on the results, Peter Olesen, chairman of the EIT Governing

Board, said: “The EIT Awards promote innovation and encourage

entrepreneurship. By putting the most innovative ventures,

entrepreneurial graduates and innovation teams in the spotlight, they

create role models that can inspire future change.”

Adding his thoughts, EIT interim director Martin Kern said: “This year’s

EIT Award winners are excellent examples of how to transform great


H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L


S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : I N N O V E I T 2 0 1 5

Inspiring future change


delivers coverage of this year’s EIT Awards, with comments from the

winners in the categories of ‘Venture’, ‘CHANGE’ and ‘Innovators’, as well as

thoughts from the judging panel

The EIT Award winners

were announced

during a gala dinner in

Budapest: Regnar

Paaske, Govinda

Upadhyay and

Rajai Aghabi

© European Institute of Innovation and Technology