Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence wins the Santander X Spain Award 2021


The startup of the Science Park at the University of Valencia also adds the Business Career award convened by the European Center for Innovative Companies (CEEI) of Valencia and the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE).

Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence has been recognized as the best in the Accelerate category, in which active university startups have competed with a product or service available in the market. The state award appreciates your contribution to on-demand microbial solutions.

The Santander X Spain Award 2021, an initiative of Banco Santander that promotes the best Spanish projects and startups, aims to promote the talent that emerges from universities as innovation and research hubs and strengthen the competitiveness and employability of young people, through in two modes, Launch and Accelerate.

The jury, made up of experts in entrepreneurship, investment, technology and marketing, has chosen Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence as the best in the Accelerate category, a call in which active university startups have competed, with a product or service available in the market.

Promoted by the researchers Manuel Porcar and Cristina Vilanova of the University of Valencia, Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence is dedicated to researching and selecting microorganisms in order to provide solutions applicable to sectors as diverse as food, human and animal health, or the sector of energy and the environment. For Vilanova, the award represents, in addition to recognition of its activity and strong growth in recent years, an opportunity to improve its visibility in the national and European environment and to get in touch with various actors in the technology startup ecosystem, including possible clients, collaborators or investors.

A high-level selection

Reaching the final stage of the call has meant a highly competitive process. From the initiatives presented at the beginning, the second phase reached the 100 best projects through a selection based on the criteria of innovation and competitive differential, business model or profile of entrepreneurs, after which ten finalists per category remained in the last phase, a test that required re-exposing their projects to the jury with a four-minute pitch in English and answering a battery of questions from the experts.

Soon, the winners will also have the opportunity to compete internationally with the best entrepreneurs from other countries and represent Spain in the Santander X Global Award 2022.

According to Vilanova, co-founder of Darwin, it is important to participate in these initiatives to value the results achieved during its five years of life, in addition to making itself known as a company and making the effort to disseminate its activity to the interested public regardless of its technical background.


The national award is also joined by the recognition of the European Center for Innovative Companies (CEEI) of Valencia and the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), which has valued in the Business Path modality the contribution to innovation of the startup of the PCUV in the 24th edition of some awards that aim to recognize the efforts of innovative companies in the field of the province of Valencia and the regions of L'Alcoià and Comtat, and the province of Alicante, in addition to promoting the socioeconomic fabric, diversifying the business activities and encouraging entrepreneurship.