Future of Emerging Europe Awards 2021 nominations announced

Almost 50 organisations and individuals from across Central, Eastern, South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus have been nominated for the fourth edition of the Emerging Europe Awards Programme.

“Each year we are amazed by the creativity, innovation and the hard work of all the projects, initiatives, organisations and individuals we see,” says Andrew Wrobel, Emerging Europe’s founding partner.

“As an organisation, we are honoured that we can contribute to showcasing all of these projects to the world.”

For the first time since the programme was launched in 2018, the winners of the awards will be chosen by the public.

Votes can be cast here until August 31.

“Last year the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible to host the awards ceremony – which was scheduled to take place at the European Parliament in Brussels – but we are back this year with a hybrid ceremony that will once again connect like-minded, creative and foresightful individuals from the region,” Wrobel adds.

The Future of Emerging Europe Summit and Awards, whose 2021 theme is Towards a resilient and sustainable emerging Europe, will take place in Brussels and online on September 15.

The Summit will focus on five areas: providing fair, equal, quality health care across emerging Europe; lifestyles for a greener and more sustainable emerging Europe redefining and strengthening a post-growth emerging Europe economy; inspiring unity and new transformational leadership in emerging Europe, and building a forward-looking, secure and democratic emerging Europe.

Three award winners have already been named.

Earlier this year, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the leader of the democratic opposition of Belarus, became Emerging Europe’s Public Figure of 2021. The Polish city of Łódź was named as the most Business-Friendly City in the region while Enterprise Estonia topped the Investment Promotion ranking, for the second time in a row.

Full list of 2021 nominees:

Artistic Achievement

Black Lives Matter, a rainbow-coloured kneeling Statue of Liberty by Péter Szalay, for bringing to light current political issues in Hungary (Hungary)

Courage, a documentary film by Aliaksei Paluyan, for capturing the spirit of Belarus, a country on the brink of civil war (Belarus)

Save our Home, a portrait made of 4,000 plastic bottles for World Rivers Day by Andrej Josifovski aka Pijanista, for an inspiring way of encouraging climate action (Serbia)

Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law

All-Poland Women’s Strike for their ongoing engagement of women who have been stripped of their right to self-determination in large cities and small towns alike (Poland)

The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary for their continuous work on building a truly independent, transparent and accountable judiciary system in Georgia (Georgia)

• The SHARE Foundation for their focus on monitoring digital rights in the Western Balkans and controversial projects including mass public surveillance using facial recognition technology (Serbia)

Foreign Investor

EuroCape for their involvement in generating renewable wind energy and building one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms (Ukraine)

Microsoft for their support in accelerating innovation and digital transformation with a new cloud data centre region (Poland)

Swisscom for their continuous focus on innovation and sustainability and strengthening Latvia’s IT, software and digitalisation excellence (Latvia)

Future-proof Education

The Coding School for Women for breaking stereotypes that IT is only for men and upskilling a large cohort of female tech specialists (Georgia)

• The Debrecen Business Service Centres Roundtable for continuing to instil key skills and develop educational paths leading to the business services sector throughout the educational cycle (Hungary)

Beetroot Academy for their commitment to provide extracurricular IT training programmes in alignment with the global market’s fast-pacing changes (Ukraine)

Global Champion

Linev Adani — an innovative, high-tech global leader in security, health care and scientific industry (Belarus)

Sigic — a global automotive navigation systems including eMobility solutions for mobile phones and tablets in over 30 languages (Slovakia)

Sonarworks — a digital sound-calibration global software creator and audio technology innovator delivering an individually perfected sound experience (Latvia)

Green Energy

Fuergy for their strong promise to make renewables effective and affordable for everyone and reinvent how people utilise and share electric energy to accelerate the transition to sustainable renewables (Slovakia)

Respect Energy for their strict commitment to promote acquiring and trading energy solely from renewable sources with respect for nature and for people (Poland)

Viezo for their focus on developing vibration energy harvesting solution, capable of converting vibrations into useful electricity (Lithuania)

Health and Social Care

JutroMedical for their commitment to revolutionise primary health care by linking advanced telemedicine services and brick-and-mortar clinics trough a mobile app (Poland)

Inocure for their pursuit of advanced nanotechnological solutions for everyday use in healthcare industry, design next-generation drug delivery systems and introduce those into mass production (Czech Republic)

Youth Cancer Europe for their ongoing campaign to ensure that young people in Europe can access cancer treatment wherever they need it (Romania)

Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Enterprise Incubator Foundation for continuous work on enhancing digital transformation and building an ecosystem for innovation, technological advancement and company growth (Armenia)

Social Impact Award for strengthening their support for young entrepreneurs from across the region in building social enterprises that solve most challenging issues in the time of a global pandemic (South-East Europe)

Tekwill for building a meeting place for ideas, resources, science and industry that aim at excellence in information technology (Moldova)

Female Business Leader

Borbála Czakó for her long-lasting contribution to connect women seeking leadership ambitions with female role models (Hungary)

Dorota Hryniewiecka-Firlej for her continuous support for digital inclusion of women and diversity in a workplace (Poland)

Vera Platonova for her ongoing support for women entrepreneurs across the region by offering them educational activities, increasing their motivation and connecting with the field experts (Ukraine)

Media Freedom and Responsible Reporting

NEXTA for their courageous and incessant coverage of political demonstrations in Belarus (Belarus)

The Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria for their adamant fight with fake news and promotion of media literacy in the country, which has the lowest standards of press freedom in Europe (Bulgaria) for not giving in to political pressure and embarking in an unknown journey to offer credible and independent reporting (Hungary)

Modern and Future-proof Policymaking

Aspen Romania’s Young Leaders Programme for their commitment to nurturing and advancing progressive leadership skills and developing a regional network of like-minded future public and business leaders (Romania)

Bank of Lithuania for creating a fintech-conducive regulatory and supervisory environment designed to foster innovation in the financial sector and contributing to the country’s growing reputation as a fintech hub (Lithuania)

Polish Code of Conduct in Healthcare for paving the way for standardisation of personal data protection, giving patients privacy and medical institutions opportunities to offer high quality service (Poland)

People-first Economy

The East Europe Foundation for their ongoing work aimed at improving the quality of life for underprivileged groups of the population, including people with disabilities, the elderly, and vulnerable youth (Ukraine)

The International Labour Organisation’s Local Employment Partnership for partnership between educational institutions, micro-finance banks and businesses to create jobs for local people in vulnerable situations, especially young people (Moldova)

The Network of Organisations for Rural Development of Kosovo for their commitment to promoting rural community development, sustainability and quality of life (Kosovo)

Regional Collaboration

• The EIT Health Regional Innovation Scheme for their continuous focus on expanding the regional network to upskill talents, engage key stakeholders and develop regional ecosystems and regional innovations (Hungary)

• The East Europe Biennial Alliance for taking joint contraposition in the realm of culture to the ideological and political trends with proxy wars and an authoritarian avant-garde championing right-wing populism present in Eastern Europe over the last decade (CEE)

Funding in the CEE Region initiative for shedding light on fundraising and investment conditions and challenges female entrepreneurs and fund managers face in accessing finance, as only one per cent of female founders receive funding (Poland and CEE)

Sustainable Lifestyles

Ecologists Without Borders (Ekologi Brez Meja) for their dedication to improving environment, increasing efficient use of resources and active citizenship as well as monitoring how municipalities progress in achieving zero waste goals (Slovenia)

KseniaSchnaider for their unique blend of fashion and sustainability by transforming several tonnes of textile waste into a new fashion label (Ukraine)

Roś for their commitment to promote plant-based diet and support for food producers, restaurateurs and organisations interested in a plant-based future (Poland)

Young Empowerment

AsperIT for devising an ingenious way of training young people with Asperger’s syndrome to work in IT and tech (Poland)

Terre des hommes for their precision initiative giving children and youth in correctional facilities and detention centres in Romania a chance of a better future (Romania)

Unicorn Squad for making the point that girls are as good at science and tech as boys – if not better (Estonia)

Young Influencer

Justyna Orłowska for her support of the digital transformation focused dialogue between the public and private sector (Poland)

Edita Velic for her determination to help her community and her strength in a male-dominated political environment (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Alexandra Bulat for her outspoken advocacy of EU citizens’ rights in the UK (Romania and the UK)

You can register for the Emerging Europe Summit and Awards event on September 15, and request to attend in person, here.

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