Launch of 2020 European Social Innovation Competition

The European Social Innovation Competition is organised by the European Commission (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) with the support of Nesta, Kennisland, European Network of Living Labs, Ashoka and Scholz & Friends. The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of the potential of social innovation to foster growth, entrepreneurship and to provide solutions to current challenges. Successful entries will be game-changing ideas with the potential to advance Europe’s growth model.

The 2020 European Social Innovation Competition has the theme ‘Reimagine Fashion – changing behaviours for sustainable fashion’. It is seeking ideas and projects that aim to improve the environmental and social impact of the European fashion market through the development of new products, services and processes, and innovative business models.

The innovations should aim to reduce the overall environmental footprint and improve the societal impact of the fashion market, help make it more accessible and fairer, and aspire to change behaviours in a sustainable way. Solutions should clearly aim to deliver impact, pursue sustainability, and be scalable or replicable post-competition – at local, national or European level.

Solutions should be scalable and target change at the systemic level: either locally, nationally or Europe wide, and relate to one or more of the following areas (solutions that address several of these areas through a systems perspective are encouraged):

1. Solutions for sustainable use and consumption:

Change consumption patterns and behaviours regarding the linear use of ‘fast’ fashion.

Extend the life cycle of fashion products.

Reduce the use and consumption of fashion and textiles through innovative business models in favour of reuse, upcycling and sharing.

Make sustainable and fair fashion more broadly accessible.

Stimulate socially inclusive processes throughout the fashion value chain.

2. Solutions for sustainable production:

Net zero waste and climate neutral fashion and textiles production.

Closed loop fashion and textiles systems.

Sourcing of alternative, sustainable feedstock.

Innovative techniques that build on traditional or local crafts for socially sustainable products.

Innovations that reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion market.

3. Solutions for improving the end of life stage:

Environmentally and socially respectful ways of recycling textiles, while maintaining their value.

Reuse of textile by-products before they become waste.

The competition includes non-financial support in the form of technical assistance and strong mentoring components that will benefit not only the winners, but all semi-finalists and finalists. Ultimately, the aim is to turn the best ideas into tangible and sustainable projects.

Three winning projects will be awarded a prize of €50,000 each, while a further €50,000 impact prize will be awarded a year later to the finalist/semi-finalist with the most successful outcomes.

The deadline for entries is 4 March 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.