InnoStars, Accelerator, Innovation

EIT Health takes three of four EIT Awards

19th August 2019

Winners announced at INNOVEIT conference

The four EIT Award winners, from left: Martin Steinberg of Stockholm3, Carsten Mahrenholz of COLDPLASMATECH, Florence Gschwend of Chrysalix Technologies (EIT Change Award winner) and Hans Constandt of ONTOFORCE.

Three out of the four EIT Awards for Europe’s most ground-breaking entrepreneurs and innovators went to start-ups and projects supported by EIT Health.

EIT Health winners of the EIT Awards were, EIT Innovators Award: Stockholm3, an improved test for prostate cancer; EIT Venture Award: ONTOFORCE, which takes a new approach to improve the way we search for medical information; and EIT Audience Award: COLDPLASMATECH, which uses cold plasma to treat chronic wounds. The runner up, Multi-Mode, is an EIT Health-supported Innovation project that developed an app to help predict the risk of dementia, and to provide exercises to prevent it.

The awards were given out in Budapest, during EIT’s 16-17 October INNOVEIT conference, a key European innovation forum. Sylvie Bove, EIT Health’s CEO, underlined how proud all EIT Health’s partners can be of this success.


The €50,000 EIT Innovators Award, which recognises innovation teams developing a product or service with a high potential for societal and economic impact, went to the Stockholm3, an innovative prostate cancer-detecting blood test, represented by Martin Steinberg (Sweden), of the Karolinska Institute.

The Stockholm3 test detects the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by combining five protein markers, more than 100 genetic markers, clinical data and a proprietary algorithm. This non-invasive blood test reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies by 50% compared to current clinical practice.

Stockholm3 involves the following EIT Health Partners:

●Thermo Fisher Scientific (lead partner)

●Karolinska Institutet (co-lead partner)

●Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam

●Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


●KU Leuven

●University Medical Center Groningen

In choosing Stockholm3, the jury said: “The winner demonstrated uniqueness and originality of the product, and clearly addresses a market need in the medical field that potentially affects millions of individuals. The innovation has been tested and validated, and the expected societal and economic impact has the potential to be very high.”

Stockholm3’s Martin Steinberg said: “Stockholm3 will have a significant positive effect on society by reducing unnecessary treatments, and at the same time aggressive cancers will be detected earlier. EIT Health has been a catalyst for this project, and for the close collaboration between academia, industry and healthcare providers we needed for testing, validation and market access. With the support of EIT Health, we are accelerating the implementation of Stockholm3, which has the potential to save 500,000 men from unnecessary treatments with severe side effects if implemented broadly in Europe.”


The EIT Venture Award, which recognises Europe’s most promising ventures and also has a value of €50,000, was awarded to ONTOFORCE, for DISQOVER, an innovative search tool that finds medical data faster, smarter and simpler, to heal patients more effectively. DISQOVER aggregates data from an unlimited number of public, third-party and private sources.

Hans Constandt (Belgium), founder and CEO of ONTOFORCE, represented this advanced search technology that is supported by EIT Health and will have a global impact on bringing drugs to market faster. ONTOFORCE won the European Business Plan Aggregator award for Digital Innovation at the EIT Health Summit in 2016.

The jury made the following statement about ONTOFORCE: “The winner has developed a company and products that answer a clear market need, especially in Life Sciences, with the opportunity to scale quickly to other industries. His timing is good, as demonstrated by strong Venture Capital backing and commercial sales already achieved in a short amount of time, and with a product that is user-friendly in the complex field of big data.”

Hans Constandt of ONTOFORCE said: “We are becoming a world leader in semantic search, and the EIT Community has contributed in many ways to this success. Many of their experts advised us and helped us to pivot, optimise our pitch, meet customers and partners, review our materials, develop go-to-market strategies and much, much more. I accept this award on behalf of an extremely intelligent and motivated team that truly believes we can heal patients by democratising Big Data.”


EIT Audience Award, a new Award chosen by all participants of INNOVEIT, went to COLDPLASMATECH, the company behind the innovative “Plasma Patch” – a Star Trek-like device that uses cold plasma to kill multi-resistant bacteria and treat chronic wounds.

Carsten Mahrenholz co-founder and CEO of COLDPLASMATECH, explained that the firm’s goal is to pioneer the next step in modern medicine, by “fighting a problem that could take us back to the Middle Ages: antibiotic resistance”. COLDPLASMATECH won the European Business Plan Aggregator, Medtech category, at the EIT Health Summit in 2016.

Carsten Mahrenholz of COLDPLASMATECH said: “EIT Health can really open doors for start-ups. We just need to step through. This Award is also very important to us at COLDPLASMATECH, because it will help us on our journey to reach the patient. It proves that the product speaks to the people and this is what we want to do – bring this technology to the people.”


EIT Health’s fourth entry into the EIT Awards was EIT Health Innovation project Multi-Mode, which was the runner-up for the EIT Innovators Awards. The project develops and commercializes an evidence-based eHealth tool for dementia risk prediction in various at-risk populations and for encouraging a multidomain lifestyle intervention to prevent cognitive decline and postpone dementia onset. Shireen Sindi represented the project.

EIT Health Partners involved in this project are:

●Karolinska Institutet (lead partner)

●Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam

●Imperial College London

●Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu

●Research Institutes of Sweden

About INNOVEIT and the EIT Awards

The INNOVEIT conference brought together the diverse Knowledge and Information Communities (KICs) supported by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) to celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of the EIT Community and highlight successful innovations and the teams that created them.

EIT wishes to inspire a new generation of young professionals by facilitating new personal contacts with entrepreneurial role models and showcasing how the EIT can help to develop entrepreneurial careers.

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