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Susana Sargento Competes for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016

Portuguese Entrepreneur, Researcher and Faculty Member
Susana Sargento Competes for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016

Susana Sargento 2015 Susana Sargento, co-founder of the startup Veniam, is “one of the nine outstanding women entrepreneurs finalists that compete for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016,” according with the shortlist of contestants announced today by the European Commission. Susana is also a faculty member at Universidade de Aveiro (UA), researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), and she has been deeply involved on the CMU Portugal Program. This award aims to raise public awareness of the need for more innovation and more women entrepreneurs.

Through Veniam, Susana Sargento turns vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots and builds city-scale vehicular networks that collect terabytes of urban data. “The contestants have all benefitted from EU research and innovation funding at some point of their careers, and recently founded or co-founded a successful company based on their innovative ideas,” says the press-release sent by the European Commission.

Carlos Moedas, commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said on the same press-release: “While there can only be three Prize winners, the remarkable achievements of all the women who entered the contest deserve great recognition. They worked very hard, took risks and may sometimes have faced setbacks, but they got back up again and persevered to fulfil their visions. This is the kind of spirit we need more of in Europe. These outstanding women are an inspiration to other researchers and entrepreneurs, female and male alike.”

The nine finalists are:

  • Prof. Zvia Agur, founder of Optimata in Israel, a leading health company creating pioneering medical software technology for oncology personalisation.
  • Dr. Sarah Bourke, co-founder of Skytek in Ireland, develops software for the International Space Station and received innovation awards from NASA
  • Dr Sarah Fredriksson, founder of Genovis in Sweden, whose innovative products are used by the global pharmaceutical industry for analysis of complex biological drugs.
  • Dr. Claudia Gärtner, co-founder of Microfluidic ChipShop in Germany, makes portable analytical systems happen-–following the 40 year old vision of the Star Trek “Tricorder”.
  • Prof. Pirkko Härkönen, co-founder of Hormos Medical in Finland, discovered a new hormonally active drug and created test systems for cancer drug development.
  • Prof. Sirpa Jalkanen, co-founder of BioTie Therapies in Finland, discovered unique targets for drug development for harmful inflammations and cancer treatment.
  • Prof. Sylviane Muller, co-founder of ImmuPharma in France, discovered a novel way to treat auto-immune diseases, currently evaluated in a clinical trial for Lupus.
  • Dr. Kira Radinsky, co-founder of SalesPredict in Israel, pioneers in predictive data mining algorithms for micro-economic business and sales interactions.
  • Dr. Susana Sargento, co-founder of Veniam in Portugal, turns vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots and builds city-scale vehicular networks that collect terabytes of urban data.

The finalists were selected by a high-level jury consisting of independent experts from business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia. 64 applications were submitted for the 2016 edition of the Prize, across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation. The companies created by the contestants showcase innovations in a wide range of sectors, with life science and ICT being the most dominant ones.

Following the success of its first two editions in 2011 and 2014, the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016 was launched on International Women’s Day 2015. The third edition of the contest was open for applications from 10 March 2015 until 20 October 2015, and the three winners – receiving cash prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000 – will be announced in March 2016.

Veniam is a spin-off company that uses technologies developed at Universidade de Aveiro and Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) under the CMU Portugal Program. It connects vehicles to the each other and to the Internet using vehicular mesh networking technologies Veniam designs, develops and deploys vehicular ad-hoc networks for any type of business. Using advanced simulation software, this startup is able to deliver detailed studies on the expected quality of service, bandwidth, latency and coverage for different cities, vehicle densities and traffic scenarios.


December 2015