• Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, welcomed Finnova at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels
  • Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova, took advantage of the meeting to present open innovation tools to contribute to rural development
  • The meeting explained examples for implementing innovation in rural development: GIRLS4TECH methodology, LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 challenges

02.22.2023, Brussels. Yesterday, Tuesday 21 February, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Culture, Education and Youth, received a Finnova delegation at Berlaymont, the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. The Commissioner was accompanied by Isidro Laso, an expert from Gabriel’s Cabinet, in a meeting in which open innovation tools to contribute to rural development were presented, the Startup Europe Awards were discussed and also European projects in which the Foundation is actively collaborating.

The meeting began with a presentation by Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova, on the Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) open innovation methodology of public-private partnership, an initiative promoted by Mariya Gabriel herself since 2016 and implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with Startup Europe to identify disruptive and innovative startups in line with the SDGs.

After this presentation, the need to create innovative European projects in rural areas, as well as LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 CHALLENGE.

The alternative to organic waste

Following with the projects that have become success stories for Finnova by using the same Startup Europe methodology and public-private partnership, we talked about LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0, an innovative project that uses digital tools and offers an alternative for organic waste in landfills. This technology makes it possible to control and automate the digesters of wastewater treatment plants to make biogas a reliable and green energy source that can meet the energy demand.

Women’s entrepreneurship and the promotion of STEM careers in schools

In fact, LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 inspired one of the GIRLS4TECH and TECHNOVATION GIRLS projects in schools. Lola Bordás, president of Fundadoras and director of women’s entrepreneurship projects at Finnova, explained the importance of prioritising STEM careers in girls.

At this point, the Commissioner learned first-hand about an example of a school, where three girls created COMEN 2.0, a good practice with scientific impact in the school environment that was selected to be presented in the Horizon Europe programme and won the Finnova Challenges – Technovation Girls 2021 award. In the framework of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project, an app was created by the girls from the Abecé school in Gandía, which put hotels and restaurants in contact with wastewater treatment plants for the reuse of organic waste. The prizes were awarded by the Minister of Science and Innovation Diana Morant, together with the General Director for Research and Innovation of the European Commission Jean-Eric Paquet.

Through this enriching project exchange meeting at the European Commission, Mariya Gabriel thanked all those women’s projects of the Finnova Foundation that help to make female talent and entrepreneurship visible because, she said, “we have to support each other”.