Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is a challenge prize run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. Now in its 8th year, the Competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition is based around a different issue facing Europe. This year, the focus is: “Reimagine Fashion”

The competition is looking for innovative ideas that encourage and support a change in the way things work in the fashion system, looking for new and smart ways of producing, using and re- or up-cycling clothes and accessories. It is an important and broad topic that matters for the planet and appeals to more and more people, in particular the younger generations.


  • January – March 2020: Entry Period Entry Period closes on 4th March 12.00pm CET
  • April – July 2020: First Phase of Competition In the first stage of the competition, an independent judging panel will select thirty semi-finalists who will be invited to attend a 3-day residential training Academy event in July. The Academy provides the semi-finalists with further support for the development of their ideas and connects them to a wider community of European social innovators. Semi-finalists will then receive further remote training, including webinars from international experts and continued support from their dedicated coach.
  • July – September 2020: Second Phase of Competition In the second phase of the competition, the semi-finalists will be asked to submit their Development Plans, outlining how they intend to successfully launch and scale their idea. In September, the 10 finalists will be announced.
  • Autumn 2020: Award Stage & Award Ceremony Finalists will be given an opportunity to raise awareness of their project by pitching it live on stage during the Awards Ceremony, which will take place in the autumn. The three winners will be announced on this occasion.
  • 2021: Third Phase of Competition The Impact Prize 2021 will be launched in Spring 2021. The 2021 Impact Prize will be open to semi-finalists, finalists and winners from the 2020 competition, and will reward the project that achieves the most significant social impact over the course of the year.


  • Semi-Finalists receive a package of support from experienced social innovators to further the development of their ideas.
  • All Semi-Finalists are eligible to send 2 representatives to a 3-day residential training academy at Amsterdam providing further expert support for the development of their ideas, as well as connecting them to a community of other European social innovators.
  • Finalists receive further remote training, including webinars from international experts and continued support from their coach. They are also given an opportunity to raise awareness of their project by pitching it live-on stage during the Awards Ceremony.
  • 3 Winners each receive a 50,000 Euro cash prize.


The Competition is open to applicants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020.

Eligible Regions: EU countries, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Application Process

Apply online

Application Deadline: March 4, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

Check official site
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