European Social Innovation Competition

The European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all Horizon 2020 associated countries. Organised in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, the Competition calls all Europeans to come up with solutions to the problems affecting our society. This year's competition was launched with an event in Paris on 20 March.

In recent years, the economy has been changing rapidly – there are many new ways to do business, use technology or work. In some regions and local communities, these changes have brought prosperity, in others, people are struggling to adapt and those who can are moving to seek jobs elsewhere. Yet, new technologies and ways of working have the potential to revitalise regions. Innovative solutions can build resilience within communities, address their specific needs and generate sustainable economic activity and employment opportunities. Young people must be involved, engaged and empowered to make the most of new opportunities and supported to develop the skills and capabilities to shape and lead the new economy.

The 2018 European Social Innovation Competition is looking for ideas including, but not limited to:
  • Initiatives that use new technologies and ways of working to provide opportunities for youth within their local communities
  • Ideas that assist young people who wouldn’t otherwise have become innovators to create their own opportunities in their local environment
  • Ideas co-created with young people to respond to requirements in their local community for skills, experiences and opportunities
  • Solutions to improve the quality of life and financial security of young people in irregular work
  • Innovations that provide information, advice and guidance to young people so they can navigate their options in the new economy
  • Programmes that equip the next generation of workers with skills that allow young people to harness technological change
The competition has 3 phases:
Phase 1: Out of the total of eligible entries received by the deadline, 30 semi-finalists will be selected to receive mentoring support and further progress their ideas. They are invited to take part in a Social Innovation Academy in Romania and to network with other European organisations and potential partners in their field.
Phase 2: Out of the 30 semi-finalists, 10 finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony where the 3 final winners received a prize of €50,000 each.
Phase 3: in 2019, the competition amongst the 30 semi-finalists will be re-opened and award the 2018 project having achieved the most significant results with an impact prize of €50,000.

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