Maria Jose Jurado, researcher at Geosciences Barcelona (GEO3BCN-CSIC), was awarded with the third prize in the EIT Innovators Award 2020, a prize given by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This award recognizes the innovation of Jurado and INNOLOG project team, funded by EIT Raw Materials, and it was announced on 9th of December on an online ceremony.
Jurado, PI and coordinator of the INNOLOG project, was one of the seven nominees to the EIT Innovators Award category and represented the EIT Raw Materials Community. This award highlights teams and individuals that have developed high-impact products and services and also the collaboration established among research centres, industry and universities. Andreu Martínez Climent, researcher at Universitat Politècnica de València, was the top winner of Innovators Award category.
Jurado highlighted how important has been the building of a multidisciplinary team for the project development and success . "It would have been impossible to reach the project goals without the implication of the project partners and the building of team of teams", said Jurado.GEO3BCN-CSIC, the General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU,), Magnesitas Navarras S.A. (MAGNA), the Universidad Politécnica de Marid (UPM,) and the Technological Development Centre of Remote Acquisition and Data processing Systems from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (SARTI-UPC) are the partners of this international consortium.
INNOLOG project started on 2017 and aims at developing new solutions for a more efficient and sustainable subsurface and resources exploration. INNOLOG project team has developed three new exploration tools based on innovative techniques which have been applied for the first time to the subsurface: two sensors based in hiperespectral and laser spectroscopy imaging techniques, and a new mineral identification software based on the last IA machine/deep learning technology.
"These new solutions can be applied mainly to the mineral resources research, but they also might be implemented to the exploration of other subsurface resources and renewable energies", said María José Jurado. The solution proposed by Jurado and her team increases efficiency by minimising sampling coring and other standard analyses, optimising diagnostic times and performance, and by reducing exploration-derived environmental impact. Until now, this type of analysis was based on extracting core rocks samples, a much costly and timeconsuming method.
The EIT Awards recognise the best of Europe’s entrepreneurs who are powering solutions to pressing challenges facing Europe in climate, energy, digitisation, food, health and raw materials. The awards encourage entrepreneurs and promote innovation made in Europe. Each award is awarded €50,000 (first prize), €20,000 (second prize), and €10,000 (third prize).
An international jury of experts chosen the winners of the EIT Awards from a total of 26 nominees representing 13 different countries. The nominees ptched their projects on 8th of December. The winners were revelead the dey after.
The 5 categories of the EIT Awards are: the EIT Venture Award celebrating outstanding start-ups and scale-ups; the EIT Change Award recognising top graduates from EIT entrepreneurial education programmes; the EIT Innovators Award for individuals and teams that have developed high impact innovative products and services and that highligts the colaboration established among research centres, industry and universities; the EIT Woman Award, putting the spotlight on inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders and EIT Public Award, in which the public has the opportunity to vote for their favorite innovation from the nominees of the other four categories.