Innovation Awards

Lithuanian-American Innovation Award

2019 Awards

The Lithuanian-American Innovation Award ceremony took place on September 18 in Vilnius. Two awardees were announced by Danguole Altman, a member of the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The first prize went to CUJO AI. CUJO AI technology is based on a core set of algorithms that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) analysis. CUJO AI portfolio of products helps digitally protect people and devices, creating a smart-living experience in homes, businesses, and connected communities through advanced connected device identification, real-time network security, privacy protection, content access control, and digital monitoring. It also uses machine learning to develop algorithms that could spot cyberbullying.

The second prize went to Mantas Atutis. In collaboration with Columbia University, Mantas developed and proposed the use of a new composite material – basalt fiber reinforced polymer (BFRP) for prestressed concrete structures. This is a more sustainable, optimal, and affordable alternative to what is currently used as reinforcement material/skeleton in buildings. Additionally, BFRP minimizes the risk of corrosion, which is common for conventional reinforcement.

What is the Lithuanian-American Innovation Award?

The Lithuanian-American Innovation Award – established by the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF), the American-Lithuanian Business Council (ALBC), and the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius – is granted to a Lithuanian individual, organization, university, or firm that has developed an innovation in collaboration with a U.S. partner.

The award recognizes creative solutions and developments broadly across business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, and education. Previous years’ awardees demonstrated innovation in the genetic editing, genome sequencing, and smart building sectors.

To learn more about the award, visit

2018 Awards

On February 28 at the Vilnius University Rector’s Aula, the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation, in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius and Lithuanian-American Business Council, announced the winners of the Second Lithuanian-American Innovation Awards. The winners and the guests of the ceremony were addressed by H.E. Anne Hall, Ambassador of the U.S. to Lithuania, Mr. Linas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevicius, Minister of Economy of Lithuania, and Ms. Danguole Altman, Member of the BAFF Board of Directors. The first prize of 10,000 was awarded to the company “Vittamed” for Prof. Ragauskas’s invention of the non-invasive head pressure meter, and the second prize of 5,000 was awarded to the company “Deeper” for the first smart portable fish finder.

2017 Awards

Winners of the first Lithuanian-American Innovation Award were honored at a ceremony on 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.

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 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 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

Latvian-American Innovation Awards

BAFF, the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (AmCham),  and the U.S. Embassy in Riga in cooperation with TechHub Riga and the Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV, are pleased to announce the second Latvian-American Innovation Award. The winner will receive 10,000 Euro (gross) and a runner-up 5,000 Euro (gross).

The Award is created to highlight and promote entrepreneurship, research-driven innovation, and closer economic ties between Latvia and the United States. The award recognizes innovation across business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, and education.

Applications will be accepted from Latvian residents or organizations registered in Latvia. The applications should come directly from the applicants themselves, rather than as nominations on behalf of another entity.

Innovations will be evaluated in accordance with the selection criteria such as innovativeness, impact, applicability, collaboration, project maturity and value creation.

In the selection of winners, the following factors will be taken into account:

Information regarding the 2020 application period will be made available soon. To find out more about the Awards, its selection criteria and eligibility, please visit:

2018 Awards

The winners of the 1st Latvian-American Innovation Award were Aerones and runner-up based on the following criteria: innovation, impact, applicability, collaboration, project maturity and value. The winner received a monetary prize of €10,000 and the runner-up €5,000. The winners also received a custom-made award symbolizing creativity and innovation.

Aerones builds heavy-lift drones for wind turbine cleaning, deicing and applying coatings to improve wind turbine efficiency. The drone can lift up to 440lbs of weight and can be used both for cleaning and deicing wind turbines. More: is the brand new and innovative music teaching application and software for pupils and youth used by music teachers across America and Latvia to help teach kids how to play a specific instrument or to study music theory through fun and practical experience. More:

Anatomy Next for their innovation Trauma Simulator and SAF Tehnika for their innovation PhoeniX C received Honorable Mentions presented by the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, Nancy Bikoff Pettit.

Anatomy Next has expanded the technology in medical training with their Trauma Simulator, a virtual reality training system that allows medical students to practice and improve their performance in emergency situations.

To aid in the transition from the ATSC 1.0 transmitters to ATSC 3.0, SAF Tehnika has created the PhoeniX C STL system to deliver both standards from TV broadcasting studios to the transmitter site for programing delivered over the air to the public.

Keynote speakers for the inaugural event were Nancy Bikoff Pettit, the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia; Arvils Aseradens, Minister of Economics of Latvia; Laura Lyons, BAFF/CIEE Director, Exchange Foundations; Andris Berzins, Co-Founder of TechHub Riga, Egita Polanska, Chairwoman of the Board of Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV and Arnis Kakulis, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.

Aerones – 1st place winners – runner-up recipients

BAFF alumni celebrate Latvian-American Innovation Awards

Estonian Transatlantic Business Awards

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.

Estonian-American Innovation Award

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

Recent Awards


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 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.