European Social Innovation Competition 2015: Finalists Announced.

European Social Innovation Competition 2015: Finalists Announced.

10.08.2015 Blog

The European Social Innovation Competition has been running since 2012 in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, a Portugese leader who focused strongly on fostering innovation to meet societal challenges. The aim of the competition is to provide a forum to celebrate and share innovations and ideas. The competition is open to all residents, individuals or legal entities -except public administrations- of EU countries and countries participating in the Horizon 2020 programme. A full list of countries associated with horizon 2020 is here.

In 2015 the theme is ‘New Ways to Grow’. In times where austerity and scarcity are increasingly taking hold in Europe there is a sense that financial value must be considered alongside social progress. This competition looks for new ways to collaborate and alternative ways to grow or scale innovations. It focuses on those entrepreneurial individuals or organisations who have found ways to build inclusive and innovative societies whilst making the most of resources and providing sustainable value. 

The competition is open to all Europeans who wish to submit innovation for consideration and, as part of the ‘New Ways to Grow’ theme, will be looking at ideas that may, for instance:

  • Challenge traditional assumptions about economic growth. This may relate to sharing or collaborative economy.
  • Find new ways to consider supply chains, for example production or delivery modes
  • Develop new technologies or find new ways to use existing technologies for the benefit of society
  • Find new solutions and approaches to mitigate against societal challenges of today and the future.

Out of a total of 1,408 applicants, this year, 30 semi-finalists have been announced. They will compete for prizes of €50,000 which will be awarded in November of 2015 to the 3 winning ideas.

However as well as the cash prize the competition also provides mentoring support- through the social innovation academy to be held in Vienna from 7-9 September- networking opportunities and more visibility to some of the great ideas that are being developed and implemented in Europe.

This year the mentoring academy will be held at the Magdas Hotel which was itself a finalist in the first ever competition, held in 2013. The awards ceremony will be held in Brussels on 25 November 2015.

You can read about all of the semi-finalists in more detail here and follow updates from the competition by following @EUSocialInnov or #diogochallenge on twitter.

You can also get further information by emailing the competition directly on 

A video about the competition is available here


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