Why are we doing this?
2019 theme - Challenging plastic waste
The European Social Innovation Competition, launched in 2012 in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, is a competition run by the European Commission across all European countries. The 2019 competition is titled Challenging Plastic Waste and is looking for the most innovative projects, products, services, business models and collaborations that tackle plastic waste. We’re looking for ideas from one or more of the following fields:
- 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
What are we doing?
The European Commission is looking for ideas from social innovators, entrepreneurs, students, designers, tech enthusiasts, educators, doers and makers, movers and shakers, and people who want to change the world. Ideas that are led by young people themselves are particularly encouraged. The competition is open to applicants from EU member states and countries associated to Horizon 2020.
Applications for the 2019 competition closed on 4 April 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST.
Our judging panel chose 30 of the most promising applications as semi-finalists. These entries will be provided with business development support, matched with a mentor and invited to a three day academy in Turin, Italy in July 2019 to progress their ideas.
With the help of their mentors, the 30 semi-finalists will submit a final detailed business plan to the judges in August 2019. Ten finalists will be selected to pitch their projects at the awards in Brussels in October 2019.
Three winners will each be awarded prizes of €50,000 to develop their ideas.
This is the seventh year in which Nesta has led the consortium delivering the European Social Innovation Competition. The competition is run by the European Commission’s DG GROW with the support of a consortium of partners: Nesta, Kennisland, European Network of Living Labs, Ashoka and Scholz & Friends.
The European Social Innovation Competition 2018: Rethink Local
The European Social Innovation Competition 2017: Equality Rebooted
The European Social Innovation Competition 2016: Integrated Futures
The European Social Innovation Competition 2015: New Ways to Grow
The second European Social Innovation Competition 2013-2014
The first European Social Innovation Competition 2012-201
For more information about the competition, visit the European Commission website