In Advocacy, EaSI, NEWS, Policy

The European Social Innovation Competition is looking for ideas and projects that seek to reduce plastic waste and littering through changing and improving existing processes or through introducing brand-new products and initiatives.

Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Now in its 7th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition focuses on a different social issue. This years’ edition is challenging plastic waste.

Phase 1: Out of the total of eligible entries received by the deadline, 30 semi-finalists will be selected to receive mentoring support and further progress their ideas. They are invited to take part in a Social Innovation Academy in Italy and to network with other European organisations and potential partners in their field.

Phase 2: Out of the 30 semi-finalists, 10 finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony where the 3 final winners received a prize of €50,000 each.

Phase 3: In 2020, the competition amongst the 30 semi-finalists will be re-opened. The 2019 project having achieved the most significant results will be awarded with an impact prize of €50,000.

To select the best entries throughout the competition, the European Commission is supported by an external jury.

The proposed projects need to demonstrate their potential to reduce the amount of plastic waste created or encourage and enable the greater re-use and recycling of plastic waste. Solutions should be scalable, and target change at the systemic level: either locally, nationally or Europe-wide, and be rooted in one of the following areas:

  • Reducing the consumption of single use plastic products
  • Recycling reusing, and upcycling existing plastic waste
  • Dealing with accumulated plastic waste in landfills and the environment
  • Changing consumer behaviours, retail and wider business practices to reduce levels of plastic waste and/or increase recycling and re-use
  • Implementing alternative business models and optimising supply chains to reduce plastic waste and/or increase recycling and re-use
  • Introducing new materials fit for a circular economy or that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil-based plastics

The Social Innovation Competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations across the European Union and in countries participating in the European Horizon 2020 programme (see list).

Would you like to participate? Submit your proposal before 4 April 2019 (noon, CET)

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the European Social Innovation competition you can get in touch with the team!

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