European Social Innovation Competition

A €150,000 Challenge Prize by the European Commission for the three best ideas to support the reception and integration of refugees and migrants in Europe

25 February 2016
Application Deadline
8 April 2016
4-6 July 2016
Awards Ceremony
27 October 2016

The Winners

CUCULA, Project Virtuous Triangle and The Machine to be Another were announced as the winners of the prize at the awards ceremony on 27 October 2016 in Brussels.

The winners were selected from 1095 entries from 36 countries. Each received a €50,000 prize.



The Problem

Over the last year the EU has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of refugees and migrants travelling to the continent with more than a million new arrivals. This unprecedented inflow of people, many of whom are vulnerable individuals seeking international protection, presents a challenge across Europe not only in terms of their immediate reception, but also in terms of their longer term integration in society. Innovative and creative approaches are needed to build inclusive communities and realise the potential contribution of refugees and migrants.

Photo: Josephine Goube

The Challenge Prize

The European Commission looked for innovations in products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants. Ideas could relate to any aspect of the reception and integration process including but not limited to:

  • Education and Skills Development
  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Access to Appropriate Housing and Health Services
  • Safety and Human Rights
  • Community Cohesion and Cultural Diversity.

Entrants may still wish to refer to the Rules of Contest and Frequently Asked Questions.

Competition Timeline

The Competition helped the most innovative ideas to turn into real projects which can achieve sustainable impact.

  • Out of 1095 entries, our judging panel chose 30 of the most promising applications as semi-finalists. These entries attended a social innovation mentoring academy in Berlin in July to receive expert support to progress their ideas.
  • Following the academy the 30 semi-finalists submitted a final detailed business plan by the deadline of 2 September.
  • From these detailed plans, ten finalists were selected who had the opportunity to pitch their ideas at the awards ceremony in Brussels on 27 October 2016.
  • Of the ten finalists, three winners were awarded a prize of €50,000.


Prize blog