Social Innovation Tournament offers €75 000 prize money for the best projects

Social Innovation Tournament offers €75 000 prize money for the best projects
2021. February
Business Sustainability
Social Innovation Tournament recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs.

The Social Innovation Tournament (SIT) is the flagship initiative of the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) Institute’s Social Programme, which recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs.

It promotes innovative ideas and rewards initiatives that contribute to creating social, ethical or environmental impact.

Typically, it covers projects in education, healthcare, the environment, circular economy, inclusion, job creation, ageing and many more.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the SIT, winning projects in the General Category and Special Category will be awarded a first or second prize of €75 000 and €30 000 respectively, and an Audience Choice Award of €10 000.

Social Innovation Tournament

Two projects will be selected to attend INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship programme in Fontainebleau, France.

The prizes are awarded by a jury of specialists from the academic and business worlds, while the Audience Choice will be awarded by the public, based on their votes.

In 2021, the Special Category Prizes will go to projects focusing on sustainable living.

The tournament runs in two rounds, and 15 finalists will be selected to participate in a tailor-made training programme that includes bootcamps, e-training on pitching, and one-to-one coaching sessions.

These programmes aim to prepare entrepreneurs to present their proposals at the Final Event to a jury of social innovation specialists.

The Final Event will be held on 7 October 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Finalists from all SIT editions automatically become members of the SIT Alumni Network, where they can benefit from numerous training and networking opportunities from investor relations to conference participation.

Category winner 2020, BeeOmonitoring project uses bees as drones to collect billion of environmental samples. Image:Pexels

In 2020 fifteen finalists had been selected out of an outstanding group of 216 candidates in 31 countries.

General category winners were Navilens, from Spain, and BeeOmonitoring, from Belgium, both presenting innovative solutions to pressing social challenges.

The Spanish social enterprise wants to make cities smarter and more inclusive by empowering visually impaired people with a cutting-edge technology based on a proprietary computer vision algorithm.

The Belgian project is focused on combining nature with technology.

They use bees as drones to collect billion of environmental samples on large surfaces and use software to analyse the data to indicate the level of pollution and detect biodiversity.

In 2020 two social enterprises were the recipients of the Special Category award.

The Dutch team of Sponsh, developed a temperature-sensitive smart material that produces water from the air, using the natural cycles of day and night.

Their first products are water-producing tree guards for reforestation projects, to help young trees survive their first harsh summers.

A CleanTech startup in Sweden, Plasticfri came up with the vision to end the plastic pollution catastrophe by developing a biomaterial that looks and works like conventional plastics, but it is 100% biodegradable, compostable and non-toxic.

The public has chosen the Hera mobile application, from Turkey, for the Audience Choice Award in 2020 for their solution to increase access to preventative health services, related to vaccine-preventable diseases and maternal health among Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The deadline for submitting project proposals for 2021 is 3 March, and finalists will be announced on 15 May.

Headline image: Pexels