Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid

Details of this prize which aims to develop high-tech solutions for humanitarian aid.

The challenge to solve


Read the news alert from the prize launch at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Commission's humanitarian aid partners.

The challenge is to develop innovative solutions for the delivery of humanitarian aid based on frugal application of advanced technologies.

The European Union and its member states are major humanitarian donors. Humanitarian crises and disasters have increased in number, complexity and severity over the last 25 years.

The future is what we make it

Given the scale of today’s crises and disasters, funding to cover humanitarian needs cannot keep up.

The humanitarian system is being challenged to do more, for more people, and at greater cost. Cooperation between international organisations and NGOs responding to crises, end-users and local actors, research and scientific communities and the private sector is crucial in this respect.

Introducing innovative solutions for the delivery of humanitarian aid could help enhance the humanitarian response, which is particularly important for those in a most vulnerable situation.

Solutions should be developed through a frugal innovation approach, and should be novel and based on advanced technologies and services, demonstrating the added value and potential of one or more advanced technologies (no Information and Communication Technology-only solutions).

Tested and proven in a humanitarian aid delivery, these solutions should be safe, scalable, resource-sustainable, replicable and usable in other contexts.

Innovative solutions should be inclusive, i.e. co-created and developed by different stakeholders with local actors, and accessible to a large number of people in a given context of humanitarian aid delivery settings.

Rules of the Contest pdf

Template for Applications pdf

Affordable high-tech for humanitarian aid infographic pdf

Prize value

€5 million

The prize will be allocated in separate awards of €1 million each in 5 distinct thematic areas: shelter and related assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, health and medical care, other forms of humanitarian aid (open category).

Expected results

The prize should result in more cost-effective, sustainable and higher-quality innovative solutions, which lead to an optimised use of humanitarian funding and an enhanced response to urgent needs in humanitarian aid.

Eligibility and award criteria

The contest is open to all legal entities (i.e. natural or legal persons, including international organisations) or groups of legal entities.

The prize will be awarded, after closure of the contest, to the contestants who, in the opinion of the jury, demonstrates a solution that best meets the following cumulative criteria.

  • new solution tested successfully in a real environment, with a demonstrated potential of adaptability and scalability under different humanitarian aid settings and responding to the needs of those in a most vulnerable situation (taking age, gender, disability and minority into consideration)
  • quality and sustainability of the solution based on frugal application of advanced technologies, including the technological components (no ICT-only solutions)
  • affordability and improved cost-effectiveness for beneficiaries and organisations responding to crisis
  • engagement with end users and perspective of a business case


  • 2017 fourth quarter – contest opens
  • 2020 first quarter – deadline to submit applications
  • 2020 third quarter – prize awarded


  • List item
    Thu 7 Jun

    EIC High Tech for Humanitarian aid Prize at Horizon 2020 Info Day

    Kigali, Rwanda

    The EIC prize High Tech for Humanitarian Aid will be presented in the margins of the Africa Innovation Summit. The event "Horizon 2020 Info Day: Funding opportunities for cooperation between Africa and Europe through H2020" will provide a dedicated slot to present the principles of the prize, the rules of contest and provide a space for valuable exchanges among African innovators, researchers, investors, private sector and humanitarian actors on humanitarian innovation and affordable high tech solutions. We are looking forward to enlarging the community around the prize in the frame of the EU-Africa partnership.

    Agenda pdf