Some of the most impactful innovation competitions are those that seek to address social issues. The European Commission has launched this year’s European Social Innovation Competition. The goal of the challenge is for Europeans to come up with novel approaches to technologies, digital inclusion, connectivity, and skills development.
We talk about this being the digital age, but of course, that’s not true for everyone. This competition seeks to ensure that everyone has a chance to take advantage of the opportunities before us. The organizers feel strongly that as technology advances, it must be used to help society advance as well so that everyone benefits. Participants in the challenge are encouraged to submit creative ideas for closing the technology gap.
Ideas submitted for consideration can include, but are not limited to:
- New technologies and business models that make the digital economy more inclusive or use collaborative solutions to reduce inequality
- Innovations that empower disadvantaged people to fully participate in the digital economy and gain revenue from employment or entrepreneurship
- Initiatives that equip those at risk of being shut out of the labor market with the appropriate skills to shape the knowledge economy, such as creativity, communication or problem-solving
- Solutions to protect and support low wage/skilled workers in the evolving labour market.
Individuals, groups, and organizations across the European Union and in countries participating in the European Horizon 2020 program are encouraged to participate in the competition. Entries must be submitted through the competition website by April 7, 2017.
Thirty participants chosen as semi-finalists will receive support, mentoring, and and introduction to partners that can help them develop their ideas. Ultimately, three winners will each be awarded a prize of €50,000 (approximately $54,000) in October 2017 at an event in Brussels.
Creating Synergy between Technology and Society
At Skild, we’re in total agreement with the focus of this innovation competition. As technology advances, society should be advancing right along with it. It’s going to be an interesting summer as teams compete to see who will take home top honors in the fall. We’ll be watching as events unfold.