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European Innovation Council
News article30 March 2023

European Social Innovation Competition: 2023 edition now open for applications

The Commission launched today the 11th edition of the European Social Innovation Competition. The prize promotes the potential of social innovation to provide solutions to societal challenges and to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

The European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC), funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Horizon Europe, helps innovators to develop their ideas into working solutions, and facilitates a network of radical innovators shaping our society. This prize acknowledges the social innovation as a powerful approach for responding to societal challenges.

This year’s challenge concerns ”fighting energy poverty – Repower EU”.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

Social innovation plays a crucial role to overcome societal crisis. Taking up the challenge of fighting energy poverty can significantly improve the lives of vulnerable citizens, SMEs, and benefit EU society at large. With this edition’s challenge, the European Social Innovation Competition focuses on boosting innovation to support health, wellbeing, social inclusion, and quality of life of affected citizens. Social innovation has a key role to play in addressing these challenges alongside with technological and green innovation.

Launched in 2013 in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition features three awards worth €50,000 each for the best social innovation projects designed to change the world for the better.

The competition is open to social innovators from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe. Independent experts will evaluate social innovation applications considering the following 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. Viability- 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.

Consult further details and exceptions in the Rules of contest.

The Competition is open for applications until 30 May 2023 (17:00:00 CET).


This eleventh edition of the European Social Innovation Competition is supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Horizon Europe.

The European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) aims at stimulating the potential of social innovation to provide solutions to societal challenges that we face and to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. It will directly support ideas best illustrating this rationale. It will engage people, businesses, and start-ups in a large range of sectors, as well as universities, engineering schools and civil society organisations thereby creating new connections, sources of sustainable growth and meaningful job opportunities.

The prize attracts a great number of applicants each year. Past editions topics were the following: Affordable housing districts (2022), Skills for tomorrow - Shaping a green and digital future (2021), Reimagine Fashion (2020), Challenging Plastic Waste (2019), Re:think Local (2018), Equality Rebooted (2017), Integrated Futures (2016), New Ways to Grow (2015), The Job Challenge (2014), and New forms of work (2013).

EUSIC is one of the five EIC Prizes granted under Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation framework programme. While the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency manages the prize, the independent experts assess the applications.


Publication date
30 March 2023