Dr Sarah Bourke

Dr Sarah Bourke makes EU Women Innovators shortlist

Dr Sarah Bourke

17 December 2015

Dubliner Dr Sarah Bourke is in the running for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016.

The international shortlist of nine includes top women in science and technology who have brought breakthrough ideas to the market, and benefitted from EU research and innovation funding at some stage.

Dr Bourke’s company develops advanced software applications that assist astronauts in the execution of day-to-day and emergency procedures onboard the International Space Station. There are currently over 10,000 procedures stored in the system.

A Trinity College Dublin doctoral graduate, Dr Bourke founded her company Skytek with CTO Paul Kiernan in 1997, and supported by Enterprise Ireland they developed technology that was part of an ISS payload in the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-114 mission.

In 2014, Skytek announced that it was launching a new weather division to monitor solar storms, and has also developed tools for aircraft maintenance, security and emergency response industries.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science & Innovation, said: “While there can only be three prize winners, the remarkable achievements of all the women who entered the contest deserve great recognition. They worked very hard, took risks and may sometimes have faced setbacks, but they got back up again and persevered to fulfil their visions. This is the kind of spirit we need more of in Europe. These outstanding women are an inspiration to other researchers and entrepreneurs, female and male alike.”

The finalists were selected by a jury of independent experts from business, venture capital, entrepreneurship and academia. Some 64 applications were submitted for the 2016 edition of the prize, across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation.

The three winners – receiving cash prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000 – will be announced in March.

TechCentral Reporters

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