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2014 Innovact Awards finalists announced

British environmental project vying for top prize.

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Fifty six European projects have been chosen for the finals of the 2014 Innovact Awards. During the 18th edition of the European Forum on innovative start-ups – Innovact Forum, to be held on April 1 & 2 – the finalists, made up of project initiators and young entrepreneurs, will present their ideas to potential investors, peers, industry professionals, the general public and the jury. A winner will be named in each category on April 2 in the afternoon, and the final three winners will receive prize money of €3,000 to €7,000, plus expert advice (coaching sessions worth up to €10,000) and visibility for their projects throughout Europe.

Fifty six innovative projects preselected from across Europe

For its 2014 edition, the Innovact Awards received more than 400 submissions from all over Europe. Following two rounds of selection, 56 finalists – who will present their projects at the Innovact Forum – have been selected by an expert committee: 20 projects in the “campus” category, 16 in the “creation” category and 20 in the “startup” category. A total of eight countries will be represented in the finals: the UK, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.

The projects participating in this competition, organized by Innovact Center and funded by the City of Reims, the Reims-Epernay Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Regional Council of Champagne-Ardenne, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Regional Council of Marne, are also diverse in their backgrounds, encompassing a large cross-section of sectors, including medical and biomedical, environment, software services, Internet/web applications and platforms, health, connected objects, culture/recreation, equipment (general and industrial), agriculture, electronics, chemistry, new materials, energy transport, optical, pharmacy and the social sector.

British project aims to reduce disease and increase fish stocks in some of the world’s most economically deprived regions

A British team from Swansea University, are working on the development of an insect trap, the Biofeeder™, which exterminates flying insects, including ones that transmit or vector diseases of both humans and animals and uses these insects as protein rich fish food. “The Biofeeder™ project aims to reduce disease and increase fish stocks in some of the world’s most economically deprived regions by utilizing profits generated from developed countries,” said team representative and owner of the Biofeeder™ intellectual property rights, Zack Saud. “It is a ‘green’ control measure that simply redistributes the energy in food webs from a terrestrial to an aquatic environment, unlike most other control measures that may have adverse effects on ecosystems. Our aim by 2020 is to have Biofeeders™ on water systems in all of the world’s malaria stricken regions as well as establishing a constant supply chain of lures to trap the malaria vectoring mosquito species.”

An endowment of more than €33,000!

The finalists will all benefit from the “startup package”, offered by the Innovact Forum, where they will get to present their projects to the jury (in the form of “capital forums” involving a two minute presentation on stage and a two minute question and answer session), participate in business meetings and in hands-on workshops. The participants will receive expert advice and will go through coaching sessions to help them prepare and improve on their presentations. They will also have at their disposal a data organizer – ViaNoveo patchwork, provided by Innovact’s partner Vianovéo – a tool that will help them organize their ideas, particularly their marketing strategy.

Each of the three categories will have a dedicated jury made up of experts specialized in financing, strategy, human resources etc. Presiding over the jury will be Philippe Vanrie, CEO of EBN (European Business & Innovation Centre Network).

Judged on the originality of their innovation, market relevance and effectiveness of their business models, three projects, one per category, will be awarded in Reims on April 2, the last day of the Innovact Forum.

In addition to visibility across Europe, the finalists will receive:

“Campus” category:

  • Prize money worth €3,000 offered by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne
  • A coaching session, worth €1,800, offered by FING (Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération) on « Positionning and usage strategy: how to objectivize your project » (1 day)

“Creation” category:

  • Prize money worth €5,000 offered by Innovact Center
  • A workshop worth €2,000, offered by KPMG, on: “An Innovative Business Plan that is different” (1 day)
  • An in-depth coaching session, worth €10,000, offered by Vianovéo on: “How to design a market access strategy for your project”. (Five sessions of 3 hours each)

“Startup” category:

  • Prize money worth €7,000 offered by the Innovact Center
  • A coaching session, worth €4,000, offered by Multeam on “Fundraising: a backstage ambiance!” This session will help the participants gain an insider view on the investment process, exchange with an active and renowned investor and gain valuable advice to realize their business plans. (3 days)

A fourth winner will be nominated in the category “creation” by one of the partners of the Innovact Forum, the JCEF (Jeune Chambre Economique Française) and will receive a “Special JCEF Award” worth €500.

Find out all the latest on the Innovact Awards at http://forum.innovact.com (“Innovact Awards” section).

 

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