The future of politics is female, says Sophie Hochmüller to a delighted audience. Perhaps the words would be less impressive if not uttered by a 16 year-old student who dreams of being a politician and bringing gender equality to Europe.

Sophie was one of the four teenagers invited to participate in the 2017 EU Prize for Women innovators award ceremony, which took place 8 March at the European Parliament in Brussels. As part of the event, Magdalena Faimann, Svenja Unger, Hannah Flicker and Sophie Hypatia’s Austrian editorial boards receives a standing ovation during the 2017 EU Prize for Women innovators award ceremony. The four teenagers were invited to the stage to share their interest in science, gender equality and the importance of role models and impressed the audience with contributions. The four 16-year old students are part of Hypatia’s Austrian Editorial Board and won a trip to Brussels after winning a creative competition that answered Why should you meet the winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators?

Organized by the DG for Research and Innovation, together with the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, the EU Prize for Women Innovators award ceremony brought scientists, policy makers and equality champions together to celebrate women’s contribution to R&I.

And the winners are….

Kristina Tsvetanova from Bulgaria won the Rising Innovator award for her work with BLITAB, the first tablet for blind users. The third place went to Claudia Gärtner from Germany, founder of microfluidic ChipShop, which provides “lab-on-a-chip” systems as miniaturized solutions for better diagnostics. Second place went to Petra Wadström from Sweden, founder of Solvatten, which produces a portable water purifier and water heater that are powered by solar energy.

The big winner was Michela Magas, a Croatian-British national founder of Stromatolite, a platform bringing together arts and sciences, industry and academia, ground-breaking research and market adoption, creation of tools and hands-on invention. Learn more about Maga’s work in this video produced by the DG for Research and Innovation.