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Grants and Funding News
04Mar

Launch of 2019 European Social Innovation Competition. Theme: Challenging plastic waste

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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 2019 European Social Innovation Competition has the theme 'Challenging Plastic Waste'. It is seeking ideas and projects that reduce plastic waste and littering through changing and improving existing processes or through introducing brand-new products and initiatives.

These innovations need to reduce the amount of plastic waste created or encourage and enable the greater re-use and recycling of plastic waste. Solutions should be scalable and target change at the systemic level: either locally, nationally or Europe wide, and be rooted in one of the following areas:

  • 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.

The competition includes a strong mentoring and networking component which is intended to benefit all the successful contestants, not just the winners. 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 semi-finalist with the most successful outcomes.

The deadline for entries is 4 April 2019.

How To Apply

Applications are made via an online application form.

After the submission deadline, a jury assesses the entries against the set eligibility and judging criteria, and selects projects to go forward to the semi-finals.

A mentoring academy is held for semi-finalists. Entries are then resubmitted and the jury selects the finalists.


Useful documents & links

Useful Links


Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. European Social Innovation Competition
    Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH)
    Communication and Information Unit R4
    BREY 13/092
    B - 1049 Brussels
    Belgium
    Email: [email protected]

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