The European Social Innovation Competition

EU funding opportunities

The European Social Innovation Competition is a Competition run by the European Commission, with the support from the EIC across all EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries. Each year, three €50,000 prizes are awarded by the European Commission for the best socially innovative projects designed to change the world for the better.

This 2021 Competition, which is titled ‘SKILLS FOR TOMORROW – Shaping a green and digital future’ 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 including but not limited to identifying and mapping skills gaps as well as approaches to development and training that will support people to reskill or upskill. All solutions must work towards sustainability, taking into consideration their own environmental impact.

The Competition is open to any legal entity (including natural persons) or group of legal entities, except public administrations, established in EU Member States or Associated countries to Horizon Europe.

In early July 2021, 30 semi-finalists will be informed of their selection and provided with invitations to the Social Innovation Academy, with detailed logistical information to follow over July 2021. The Academy will consist of a series of workshops and expert sessions to support the semi-finalists in developing their Detailed Plan. Semi-finalists will also be paired with a coach who will offer them 20 hours one-to-one guidance.

On the basis of the inputs received during the Academy and of the coaching sessions, the semi-finalists will be asked to develop their ideas and to submit a ‘Detailed Development Plan’. Detailed plans must be submitted indicatively by the deadline of 24 September 2021, 12pm CEST. The confirmed deadline will be communicated in due time to Semi-finalists. Then, the Agency will select the best entries which will be called ‘finalists’ and will compete for the three Challenge Prizes. Indicatively up to 10 ideas are expected to be selected as ‘finalists’ for the Awards Ceremony.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 12th May, 12:00:00 noon (CEST – Brussels time).

More information and the official documentation is available here.

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