Winners of the first Lithuanian-American Innovation Award were honored at a ceremony March 1 in Vilnius. Presenters were U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Anne Hall; Eric Stewart, President of the American-Lithuanian Business Council, and Laura Lyons on behalf of the BAFF Board of Directors. Milda Darguzaite, Chief of Staff of the Government of Lithuania also addressed the winners.
Linas Mazutis, PhD: inDrops was awarded top prize of 10,000 euros.
Dr. Linas Mazutis, in collaboration with scientists from Harvard University, developed a technique for the efficient isolation and sequencing of single cells. The process opens new research avenues at a fraction of the cost of previous state-of-the-art commercial platforms.
Two runners-up will share the 5000 euro second prize:
Honorable mention went to finalists:
The Lithuanian-American Innovation Award highlights and promotes innovative cooperation between the Lithuania and the United States. The award was established in 2016 by BAFF, the American-Lithuanian Business Council, and the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius. Open to a Lithuanian individual, organization, university, or firm that has developed an innovation in collaboration with a U.S. partner, the top awards are designed to recognize the importance of innovation to Lithuania’s economy and carry prizes of 10,000 and 5,000 euros for the first and second prize winners.
Any project that demonstrates a clear Lithuanian-American link is eligible to win the Innovation Award. The core requirements are demonstration of the impact or clear potential impact of the innovation collaboration with a U.S. individual or entity. To learn more, please visit www.amlithbc.org/award/.
AmCham Estonia in cooperation with BAFF and the U.S. Embassy Tallinn has launched the Transatlantic Business Awards program, building on the success of the Estonian-American Innovation Awards (2011-2015).
The Business Awards will continue to recognize outstanding and innovative achievements by Estonian-based companies and individuals in the U.S., with an emphasis on their contributions to strengthening transatlantic economic ties and shared prosperity. There are three separate honors:
The Transatlantic Company of the Year, highlighting the importance of transatlantic trade and investment between the U.S. and Estonia and recognizing the contributions and positive impact made by Estonian companies investing in the U.S.
The Transatlantic Person of the Year, recognizing a person residing in Estonia or in the U.S. who has made significant contributions to promoting entrepreneurship or transatlantic collaboration. The award will honor the individual’s accomplishments in fostering increased entrepreneurial activity, including among diverse groups, and in promoting connections with the U.S.-based entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The Melissa Wells Corporate Responsibility Award, recognizing companies operating in Estonia who demonstrate ethical leadership and corporate responsibility.
As a means to highlight innovation in Estonia – and the collaboration between U.S. and Estonian firms and individuals – the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF), the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Estonia established the annual Estonian-American Innovation Award for an Estonian individual or firm that has developed an innovation in cooperation with a U.S. partner.
The award is a cooperative project of AmCham Estonia, U.S. Embassy, and the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF). Initiated in 2011, it recognizes innovation by Estonians in partnership with Americans in a broad range of fields.
Previous award winners include the following companies: GrabCAD, ZeroTurnaround OÜ, Fortumo, Planet OS Inc., Transferwise.
Specific details are available on the competition website www.innovationaward.ee
To be eligible, projects must demonstrate a clear Estonian-American link through a combination of two or more of the following:
Innovations will be evaluated per the following criteria, in descending order of importance:
The best in innovation and entrepreneurial cooperation between Estonians and Americans was celebrated on January 27, 2016, with the award to TransferWise for 2016 Estonian-American Innovation Award. Teleport received the “Most Innovative Newcomer Award” and Garage48 received the “Facebook Creativity Recognition Award.”
As recipient of the Innovation Award, TransferWise received a prize of €10,000 euros from BAFF. This online money transfer service, which allows users to transfer money up to 89% cheaper than through the bank, established two new offices in the United States this year, providing similar domestic transfer depositing services as they do in Europe. Other finalists for this year’s Innovation Award prize included Cybernetica AS, Skeleton Technologies AS, Teleport, and Testlio.