European Social Innovation Competition now open

DEADLINE: 12 May 2021

Since 2013, the European Social Innovation Competition has been a beacon for social innovators across Europe, facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping our society for the better.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW) runs the European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) across all EU countries and Horizon Europe associated countries, with the support of the European Innovation Council (EIC).

Each year the competition addresses a different issue facing Europe. Three €50,000 prizes are awarded for the best socially innovative projects.

2021 theme: Shaping a green and digital future

The European economy is changing. The coming years will see a shift towards a green and digital future. These twin transitions present individuals, businesses and industries with exciting opportunities. Understanding the skills that will be needed and how best to develop them will be key to unlocking these opportunities for individuals and organisations alike. 

The ‘Skills for tomorrow’ 2021 edition of the competition is looking for scalable social innovations that will contribute to job creation, growth and European competitiveness by helping people, businesses and industries identify, develop and strengthen the skills that will power the European economy’s green and digital future.

The competition is open to early-stage ideas that tackle challenges relating to the transition to either or both futures. These include, but are not limited to, identifying and mapping skills gaps as well as approaches to development and training that will support people to reskill or upskill.  

Application and awards

Applications for the 2021 European Social Innovation Competition are now open. The deadline for submissions is 12 May at 12:00 CEST. Find more information on how to enter the competition here.

Eligibility criteria

This annual competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations in the European Union and in countries participating in the Horizon Europe programme.

Three prizes will be awarded to the applicants who, in the opinion of the jury, best address cumulative criteria regarding:

  • degree of innovation – the degree to which the product, service or model addresses unmet needs more effectively within its given socio-economic and geographical context, in a new and innovative way,
  • impact – the applicant must demonstrate how the proposed solution has the potential to tackle the competition challenge,
  • sustainability – the financial and environmental sustainability of the proposal,
  • scalability and replicability – the idea's potential to scale and be replicated, be it at regional, national, European or global level.

Find out more and apply here.

Horizon 2020
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