BITalino, the spin-off technology developed in IT and licensed to PLUX, won the 1st place at the European Commission Innovation Radar Prize 2017 in the “Industrial & Enabling Tech”. As described in the Innovation Radar Prize webpage “BITalino is a low-cost hardware and open-source software toolkit to learn and prototype biomedical applications”.
Hugo Silva, IT researcher and Chief Innovation Officer at Plux, received the award during the European Commission's ICT Proposers Day in Budapest, Hungary on the last November 9. “Considering the quality of the other candidates competing in the final, I am still in a loss for words to describe the full meaning of this award. It is such a great achievement, very prestigious for all of the people and institutions involved in the project, and, above all, it validates and gives a special meaning to all our commitment, energy and dedication”, said Hugo.
And what might this distinction represent for the future of Plux and BITalino? “There is always a great gap between our vision and its materialization. The path is not always linear and is rarely easy. With the additional projection they bring, these distinctions are particularly invigorating and very important to confirm we are moving in the right direction”, replied Hugo.
For Hugo Silva, the work and results achieved so far were clearly the differentiating factor. However, and given the character of BITalino, the recent turning point on the part of the European Commission, wanting to define new policies and actions aligned with Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World, it also might have helped.
The Innovation Radar is an EC initiative to identify high-potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation ICT projects. With BITalino as the only Portuguese entity chosen for the five categories of the Radar Prize, the first stage of the competition took place over 4 weeks, when the public could vote online for their favorite innovators and innovations among the 48 nominees. Over 62.500 votes were cast by the public and 20 finalists selected. On the final, a panel of 4 judges decided the winners on the basis of a 3 minute pitch delivered during a special pitching session at the ICT Proposers Day.