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European Innovation Council
The European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation

A recognition prize for innovative solutions enhancing the efficiency of humanitarian support to the most vulnerable


The European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation

In 2023, the European Union is launching the European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation (InnovAid) to reward the humanitarian organisations, social enterprises, and companies that are developing technology to better assist vulnerable people affected by natural hazards and man-made crises such as conflicts.

Humanitarian emergencies are increasing year on year in number, complexity, and severity. Given the scale of today’s crises and hazards, funding to cover humanitarian needs cannot keep up. The humanitarian system is being challenged to do more, for more people, and at greater cost. To meet these rising needs, innovative technological solutions – cost-effective, simple to (re)use, scalable in different contexts - which improve the efficiency and effectiveness of aid, are crucial.

The European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation recognises innovations and the organisations that develop them. The objective is to inspire other humanitarian actors to scale up actions for a more effective and efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance and ensure their benefits flow to people affected by crises, and particularly those in a most vulnerable situation.

Funding opportunities

You can apply until 3 October 2023, 17:00 CET.

The winner of the European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation (InnovAid) will be awarded with EUR 250 000 and the two runners up, ranked 2nd and 3rd, with EUR 150 000 and EUR 100 000 respectively.

InnovAid 2023-2024

Who should apply?

The prize is open to:

  • Any humanitarian non-governmental organisation, international organisation or legal entities established in one of the EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories) or in a country associated to Horizon Europe.

Applicants that have already received an EU or Euratom prize cannot receive a second prize for the same activities.

Award criteria

Eligible applications will be evaluated against four criteria:

  • Innovation – An innovative solution tested successfully and safely in a humanitarian aid environment and on a sufficient scale, 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 – Quality and sustainability of the solution based on the application of advanced technologies including digital technologies, by demonstrating improved robustness and quality of response compared to existing solutions and by taking account scarcity of resources and potential environmental impacts.
  • Affordability and Cost-effectiveness – The solution must be affordable and cost-effective for beneficiaries and organisations responding to the crisis, meaning a better value for money compared to existing solutions.
  • Engagement with end users – Engagement with end users amongst affected populations to facilitate their involvement in the design of the solution, and perspective of a business case for (re)deployment of the solution at scale.

How to apply?

Please consult the following document before submitting your application:

  1. 21 March 2023
    Call opening
  2. 3 October 2023 – 17:00:00 CET
    Deadline for submission
  3. October 2023 – December 2023
  4. Q1 2024
    Finalists announcement
  5. Q1 – Q2 2024
    Information on evaluation results & award ceremony

Guidelines for applicants

Following the opening of the call for proposals, the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) organised an informative webinar on the application process of the European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation (InnovAid). The recording and the presentation from the webinar are available below along with the factsheets of this Prize.

23 MAY 2023
InnovAID Info Session - 23 May 2023 - Power Point Presentation
(3.42 MB - PDF)
20 APRIL 2023
Factsheet - InnovAid 2023
(328.43 KB - PDF)


Previous editions

This year is the first time the European Union launches the European Prize for Humanitarian Innovation.

As part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and under the Horizon 2020, the European Union awarded the EIC Horizon Prize on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid to five organisations in June 2020. It rewarded the best, proven, cost-effective, technology-based solutions for humanitarian aid in five categories: 1) shelter and related assistance; 2) water, hygiene and sanitation; 3) energy; 4) health and medical care; and 5) an open category. The winners, one per category, each received EUR 1 million. Discover their inspiring stories here.

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