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European Social Innovation Competition 2021, Application is Now Open

Apply European Social Innovation Competition now and win 50,000 euros to make the world a better place.

Run by the European Commission, with the support from the EIC across all EU Member States and Horizon Europe associated countries, applications to the 2021 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition: Challenge Prize are now open.

2021 European Social Innovation Competition promotional video campaign

The European Social Innovation Competition was launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos. Each year the competition addresses a different issue facing Europe. This year, the 2021 theme is Skills for Tomorrow – Shaping a green and digital future.

The European Social Innovation Competition 2021, “Skills for tomorrow” edition, 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.

All solutions must work towards sustainability, taking into consideration their own environmental impact.

Three €50.000 prizes are awarded for the best socially innovative projects designed to change the society for the better.

For this yearly competition, 3 prizes will be awarded to the applicants who, in the opinion of the jury, best address the following cumulative criteria:

  • Degree of Innovation : the degree to which any new product, service or model addresses unmet needs more effectively. The idea must be new and innovative within its given socio-economic and geographical context
  • Impact : the potential of the proposal to tackle the competition challenge. The applicant must demonstrate how the proposed solution will contribute to solving the 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

The applicant must be a legal entity located in one of the EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries. Ideas and proposals from all sources, sectors and all types of organizations including for-profit, non-for-profit, or private companies are welcome.

The deadline for submissions is 12.00 CEST Wednesday 12 May 2021. All applications must be submitted directly through the official website (

European Social Innovation Competition 2021, The Timeline

  • Launch of the competition: 8 April 2021
  • Deadline to submit an entry: 12 May 2021 12.00 CEST
  • Announcement of the 30 semi-finalists: 14 July 2021
  • Social innovation academy for semi-finalists: September 2021
  • Submission of detailed plans by semi-finalists: 24 September 2021
  • Announcement of the finalists: October 2021
  • Awards ceremony: November/December 2021
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