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European Social Innovation Competition 2021- Now Open!

The European Social Innovation Competition is now open! 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. Since 2013, it 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.

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.

2021 theme: Skills for tomorrow – Shaping a green and digital future

The coming years will see a shift towards a green and digital future. 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.

Ideas and proposals from all sources, sectors and all types of organisations including for-profit, not-for-profit, or private companies are welcome. Applications involving several organisations and/or from various countries are also possible.

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

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.


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CIRIEC-International CIRIEC-España Social Economy Europe Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social Unión Europea