Competition with an annual theme, which supports ideas that best illustrate the potential of social innovation to provide solutions to societal challenges, and foster sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are jointly funding this seed fund opportunity to help applicants form new interdisciplinary partnerships ahead of the launch of the main funding opportunity: ‘Hidden histories of environmental science: Acknowledging legacies of race, social injustice and exclusion to inform the future’.
The European Social Innovation Competition is organised by the European Commission and the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA).
The aim of the competition is to boost the potential of social innovation to provide solutions to societal challenges and foster sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. It will achieve this by directly supporting ideas that best illustrate that potential. The competition will engage citizens, businesses (including start-ups) in a large range of sectors, as well as universities, business and engineering schools, thereby creating new connections, sources of growth and job opportunities.
The 2021 European Social Innovation Competition has the theme ‘Skills for tomorrow’. It seeks to support scalable social innovations that will contribute to job creation, growth and European competitiveness by helping people, businesses and industries identify, develop and strengthen the skills that will power the European economy’s green and digital future.
The Competition is open to early stage ideas that tackle challenges relating to the transition to either, or both, futures including but not limited to identifying and mapping skills gaps as well as approaches to development and training that will support people to reskill or upskill. All solutions must work towards sustainability, taking into consideration their own environmental impact.
Alongside a cash prize, the competition includes non-financial support for all 30 semi-finalists and finalists in the form of business accelerator services such as training, mentoring and coaching. This will help to turn the best ideas into tangible and sustainable projects. Other non-financial benefits include increased visibility for the ideas and networking opportunities.