European Social Innovation Competition 2020

The European Social Innovation Competition

The European Social Innovation Competition, sustainability, funding opportunities

Application deadline: 4th March, 2020


The European Social Innovation Competition, launched in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, is a Competition run by the European Commission across all European countries, now in its eighth year. The 2020 Competition is titled Reimagine Fashion – changing behaviours for sustainable fashion. We are looking for ideas that seek to improve the environmental and social impact of the European fashion market through the development of new products, services and processes, and innovative business models.


We are looking for ideas from one or more of the fields listed below and we encourage solutions that address several of these areas through a systems perspective:

  1. Solutions for sustainable use and consumption:
  • Change consumption patterns and behaviours regarding the linear use of ‘fast’ fashion
  • Extend the life cycle of fashion products
  • Reduce the use and consumption of fashion and textiles through innovative business models in favour of reuse, upcycling and sharing
  • Make sustainable and fair fashion more broadly accessible
  • Stimulate socially inclusive processes throughout the fashion value chain

2. Solutions for sustainable production:

  • Net zero waste and climate neutral fashion and textiles production
  • Closed loop fashion and textiles systems
  • Sourcing of alternative, sustainable feedstock
  • Innovative techniques that build on traditional or local crafts for socially sustainable products
  • Innovations that reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion market

3. Solutions for improving the end of life stage:

  • Environmentally and socially respectful ways of recycling textiles, while maintaining their value
  • Reuse of textile by-products before they become waste


Benefits of the competition

Semi-Finalists that participate in the Competition have access to a range of support from social innovation experts:

  1. Access to an online pool of experts from across Europe
  2. A series of exclusive webinars covering topics about social innovation and sustainable fashion
  3. 1-to-1 dedicated mentoring from locally-based coaches
  4. A 3-4 day residential training Academy, including group workshops, discussion panels, guest speakers, and 1 to 1 support
  5. Ongoing peer support and networking with fellow entrants
  6. Promotion on the Competition’s website, social media channels, newsletter and press releases as well as by the European Commission
  7. Press support from Media and Communications experts, including a media asset kit
  8. An opportunity to win one of three 50,000 Euro cash prizes and ongoing recognition as an Alumni of the Competition with access to the Alumni Network
  9. An opportunity to win a further 50,000 Euro cash prize the following year as part of the 2021 Impact Prize


Eligibility criteria

  1. The competition is open to any legal entity (or natural persons) or group of legal entities, except public
    administrations, established in EU Member States or Associated countries to Horizon 2020.
  2. Ideas and proposals from all sources, sectors and all types of organisations including for-profit, not-forprofit, or private companies are welcome. Applications involving several organisations and/or from
    various countries are possible.

    If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the contest period without concluding an
    agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will
    cease to be eligible to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate).
    Please also be aware that participants that have already received an EU or Euratom prize cannot
    receive a second prize for the same activities.



Before you submit an entry, please ensure that you have carefully read the {Rules of Contest} and the {Frequently Asked Questions} (FAQs). The Competition is open to applicants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020.  We want you to capture our imagination with your innovation. The entry form is designed to provide us with an overview of your idea and the limited word count reflects this. Please respond directly to the questions and keep to the word limits. You can save a draft at any time and come back to your application later.  Every entry will be assessed against the judging criteria set out in the Rules of Contest:

  • Degree of Innovation 40%
  • Impact 20%
  • Sustainability 25%
  • Scale 15%

Please note that at this stage, your entry just needs to show the potential to be developed into an impactful, sustainable and scalable solution. The innovation is most important at this point. The name and email address you enter to login will be used as the lead contact details for your application. Once your application has been submitted you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive it straight away, please check your junk folder.  {The deadline for applications is Wednesday 4th March 2020, 12:00:00 noon Brussels time (CET)}. If you have any further questions relating to the European Social Innovation Competition that have not been answered in the Rules of Contest or the FAQs, please email [email protected]


Application details

To participate in the competition follow the link to apply:

Apply  here


For more information, visit the official website at:

AUSIC Challenge

OR download the rules of the contest below:

Rules of the contest(pdf)

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