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European Innovation Council

The EUSIC Challenge Prize



Each year the Competition addresses a different societal issue called ‘a challenge’.

This year’s challenge concerns ‘the future of living, innovation for affordable, and sustainable housing districts’.

The theme fulfills the objectives of the New European Bauhaus movement: to re-invent our current way of living to meet the goals of the European Green Deal. The EUSIC 2022 will reward the social innovators who ignite a cultural change leading to more sustainable living.

The ‘Renovation Wave for Europe strategy’ is pivotal for a successful EU post-COVID recovery and long-term green transition. Beyond addressing the energy poverty of the current building stock in the EU, the Renovation Wave – and the Affordable Housing Initiative in particular – allows us to rethink the economic and lifestyle activities linked to buildings and districts renovation.

Social innovation can be a driver to make housing districts more livable, sustainable, inclusive, and closer to the residents’ needs. It can boost employment and improve energy efficiency while ensuring cities’ and regions’ sustainability and citizens’ well-being. When approached from an innovative perspective, renovation of buildings shifts from a cost into an opportunity for local creativity, community wellbeing, green jobs creation and digital transition.

Funding opportunities

The second stage of the 2022 Challenge Prize opened on 11 August 2022.

Learn more about this year's finalists: European Social Innovation Competition 2022: 21 finalists of the challenge prize announced! (

You can consult the EIC Work Programme 2022 featuring the full EUSIC call text.

12 MARCH 2021
EIC work programme - 2022



Who should apply

In addition to non-technological social innovations, the competition will look for projects with a particular focus on breakthrough, market-creating and deep-tech innovations embracing the policy objectives of this year’s editions, which will boost innovation within housing districts and, consequently, will have an impact on local prosperity and sustainability.

Eligibility criteria

  1. The applicant must be a natural person or a legal entity (such as universities, research organisations, SMEs, start-ups or NGOs, except public administrations) located in one of the Member States (including overseas countries and territories, (OCTs)) or Associated Countries to Horizon Europe.
  2. Proposed solutions that harm the environment or social welfare are not eligible.
  3. The proposed solutions or activities contained in the application must have taken place (or, in case of early stage solutions, must target beneficiaries) in a Member State (including overseas countries and territories, OCTs) or in an Associated Country to Horizon Europe.
  4. The proposed solutions must relate to ongoing (even in an early phase) or completed initiatives started after 11 December 2019). In the case of ongoing activities, only work achieved by the submission deadline will be considered for the prize. (Applicants will be required to prove the starting date of the proposed solution by providing supporting documents)
  5. Winners of all categories, including both from the Challenge and the Impact Prizes, of previous editions of the European Social Innovation Competition are not eligible.
  6. Applicants that have already received an EU or Euratom prize cannot receive a second prize for the same activities.

Award criteria

  1. Degree of Innovation - the degree to which any new product, service or model is new for its given context in connection to the challenge of the competition. The idea must be new and innovative within its given socio-economic and geographical context;
  2. Impact - the potential of the proposal to tackle the competition challenge. The applicant must demonstrate how the proposed solution will contribute to solving the challenge;
  3. Sustainability- the financial and environmental sustainability of the proposal;
  4. Scalability and replicability - the idea's potential to scale and be replicated, be it at regional, national, European or global level.

How to apply

In the first stage, applicants will be required to submit a short application. Based on the four award criteria, the jury of independent experts will review and score eligible applications and shortlist a maximum of 30 applicants.

Afterwards, the 30 finalists will be required to submit a full application of their original application, which will be evaluated based on the same four award criteria mentioned above.

On this basis, the jury will propose three winners (ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd). Each winner will receive EUR 50 000.

Rules of contest

Frequently asked questions 

  1. 31 March 2022
    Call opening - first stage
  2. 17 May 2022 – 17:00
    Deadline for submission -first stage (short application)
  3. June – July 2022
    Evaluation - first stage
  4. July - August 2022
    Information on evaluation results - first stage
  5. 11 August 2022
    Call opening - second stage
  6. 21 September 2022 – 17:00
    Deadline for submission - second stage (full application)
  7. September- November 2022
    Evaluation - second stage
  8. November 2022
    Information on evaluation results