Dundalk woman shortlisted for ‘EU Prize for Women Innovators’


David Lynch


David Lynch

Dundalk woman shortlisted for ‘EU Prize for Women Innovators’

Dundalk woman Dr. Anita Finnegan, Founder and CEO of Nova Leah, a world-leading cybersecurity solutions provider for medical device manufacturers, has been included as a finalist for the EU Prize for Women Innovators, which recognises entrepreneurs who have founded a successful company and brought an innovation to market.

This is only the second time an Irish innovator has been selected as a finalist since the awards were launched in 2011. 

“It is an honour to be included on this list of outstanding innovators. These awards provide female entrepreneurs from across Europe a platform for recognition and inclusion, and motivate more women to push themselves forward and turn their ideas into commercial reality. I would like to commend the Commission for this initiative which rewards the efforts of female innovators.” said Dr. Anita Finnegan, CEO of Nova Leah. 

Thirteen finalists were selected from hundreds of applications from across Europe, by a high-level jury of independent experts. Entries were evaluated and scored on three main criteria; breakthrough innovation, impact and inspiration. Three winners will receive €100,000 each. One additional prize of €50,000 will be awarded to a 'rising innovator’ under 35 years old and nine finalists are in this category. The awards will be given to female founders working to make the world a better place and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. The final four winners will be announced in September 2020.  

Nova Leah is headquartered in Dundalk and also has an office in Boston, USA.  The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Anita Finnegan, a government advisor and award-winning international expert in cybersecurity risk management. Finnegan is a published author and project leader of multiple internationally regulated, industry standards for medical equipment in healthcare technology. Nova Leah’s flagship product, SelectEvidence is an expert cybersecurity risk assessment platform that guides medical device manufacturers through the processes of identifying applicable threats to their products and implementing the right security controls to mitigate them. Six of the world’s top medical device manufacturers have already partnered with Nova Leah’s flagship product, SelectEvidence. 

Nova Leah is a spin out which originated from research conducted by Finnegan, within the Regulated Software Research Centre (RSRC) in Dundalk Institute of Technology. The RSRC have a long-standing international reputation for excellence in medical device software and healthcare technology solutions development. 

The first and only other Irish finalist in the EU Prize for Women Innovators was Sarah Bourke, CEO of Skytek Ltd, who won third prize in 2016.