The awards ceremony marks the 5th edition of the European Social Innovation Competition. Out of 800 entries from 40 countries, 3 winners were awarded €50,000 each in Brussels. An additional €50,000 ‘Impact prize’ went to one of last year’s semi-finalist for their achievements since the last edition.
The Social Innovation Competition aims to find innovations in tools, services, and models that allow everyone to seize the opportunities offered by technological change. This year’s competition was themed ‘Equality rebooted’.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission said: "Digitisation and automation are rapidly changing the way we live and work. There is a growing gap between those who are equipped to take advantage of this transformation and those who are lagging behind. To help close this gap, this year's edition of the European Social Innovation Competition looked for new ideas for a truly inclusive economy and society. The 3 winning projects have the potential to make a real difference."
Meet the winners
- Buildx from Great Britain
This collaborative platform offers individual users and local communities the knowledge and tools to design and build sustainable homes. Sustainable buildings become accessible to a broader public and cheaper. Which also means access to a larger market for the companies in the supply chain.
- Feelif from Slovenia
A multimedia tool that allows blind and visually-impaired people to feel shapes on a flat screen. An app is combined with a relief grid that lets the user feel ‘bumps’ from shapes and contours on the screen through vibration signals. This inclusive technology can help blind people learn, read and create content.
- Saga from the Netherlands
The project is a peer-to-peer learning network where users learn in-demand tech skills from industry experts in a flexible way. By using blockchain, all completed training and results are kept in a digital record. Users can invite community members to crowd-invest in their education. Investors can get a portion of the user's future income in exchange.
An additional €50,000 ‘Impact prize’ was awarded to 'The Bike Project'. They refurbish second-hand bikes and donate them to refugees and asylum-seekers. Over 1000 bikes in one year to be exact. To remain sustainable, some of the received bikes are sold through the projects counterpart, the bike shop, so funds can be generated.
You can find out more about this year's winners, finalist and semi-finalists by checking out their profiles.