New Europe 100 Challengers: Innovation Leaders in Central and Eastern Europe Announced

A vehicle that can be driven directly from a wheelchair, faster and cheaper tests detecting Ebola, drones designed for use in rescue missions – the creators of such innovations are but a few of the challengers recognized in the second edition of the New Europe 100 list of Central and Eastern Europe’s most outstanding innovators.

Among the 100 leaders of change in the region, there are individuals who employ modern technology to create new pathways in culture, politics, business, science or in social activities. The majority of them are entrepreneurs (50%) or activists and politicians (32%). This list showcases people that will be the drivers of change in Central and Eastern Europe in the near future – said Wojciech Przybylski from Res Publica Foundation, initiator of the project.

Among this year’s winners we find persons who not only initiate positive change, but also actively solve particular social problems, like the creators of a web-platform connecting artists and potential patrons, designers of interactive medical rehabilitation robot, organizations that teach IT skills to kids or constructors of the AirDog drone used in extreme sports. This edition of the list also recognizes prominent political figures – among the awardees are Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia – one of the architects of his country’s highly developed economy, one that is now synonymous with innovation and e-solutions in economic, educational and political sectors – and Andrej Kiska, president of Slovakia, who has been an ardent supporter of culture of innovation for the whole region.

Challengers were selected by the organizers based on public nominations and suggestions from Nominating Partners in the following categories: business, science, media and culture, society and politics. What distinguishes them? This year’s New Europe 100 list shows that in many key areas – including education, healthcare, transport, agriculture – innovators from our region use the latest technological achievements to solve specific social and business problems – explains Agata Wacławik-Wejman, Head of Public Policy, Google CEE. The diversity of the list shows that economic and social innovation in Central and Eastern Europe have considerable potential for growth, creating strong business ventures, jobs and economic growth.

The main idea behind the New Europe 100 list is the need to show appreciation and highlight authors of such creative and innovative ideas. According to the organizers many of such ideas are born in our region, and their authors often operate on a global scale. It is very encouraging to see so much creativity in this year’s list. We believe that building partnerships among these creative minds will catalyze innovation beyond the V4 region – added Beata Jaczewska, Executive Director of the Visegrad Fund.

The New Europe 100 project aims to support innovation in Central and Eastern Europe by recognizing the leaders of positive change. This is the second edition of the project, organized by Res Publica together with the Visegrad Fund, Google, and the Financial Times, in cooperation with many notable institutions from the region.

The full list of the 100 challengers from the region and alongside a list of those recognized in the previous edition can be found at