Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Social Innovation Competition

European Social Innovation Competition

Since 2013, the competition has been a beacon for social innovators across Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping our society for the better.

About the European Social Innovation Competition

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Entrepreneurship & SMEs 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). The competition was launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos

Each year the competition addresses a different issue facing Europe. Three €50.000 prizes are awarded for the best socially innovative projects designed to change our society for the better.

See the EUSIC website for more information.

2021 theme: Skills for tomorrow - 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.  
All solutions must work towards sustainability, taking into consideration their own environmental impact.

Timeline of the competition

  • 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

European Social Innovation Competition 2021 banner

Application and award

Applications for the 2021 European Social Innovation Competition are now open. 
The deadline for submissions is 12.00 CEST Wednesday 12 May 2021. 
All applications must be submitted directly through the official website. See more information on how to enter the competition.

Eligibility criteria

This annual competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations (as a legal entity) across the European Union and in countries participating in the Horizon Europe Programme.
The competition is governed by the rules of contest below, specified in the FAQs.

You may submit your proposal independently of its degree of maturity, including concept or early-stage ideas, as well as those in the prototyping stage.
Ideas and proposals from all sources, sectors and all types of organisations including for-profit, not-for-profit, or private companies are welcome.

Award criteria

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

Impact prize of the European Social Innovation competition 

We also reward one semi-finalist of the 2020 ‘Reimagine Fashion’ competition with an impact prize of €50.000. We will contact the 2020 semi-finalists directly with more information on the steps to take in the coming months.

Previous editions

Contact us

For more information please contact us at info@socialinnovationprize.eu