The Social Challenges Innovation Platform✎
The Social Challenges Innovation Platform project
(which receives funding for the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Grant Agreement number 734906)
This platform matches “challenge owners” – local governments, organisations, NGOs and companies facing a problem which needs solving – with the entrepreneurs, start-ups and social innovators that can solve them.
Each challenged will be matched with 3 solutions. Their providers will receive a grant of 30,000 euros and a six-month mentoring programme to help them develop their idea. The very best entrepreneurs will then work with the challenge owners to turn their concept into reality.
Are You A Challenge Owner?
Maybe you’re a city government trying to improve public transport efficiency. Or a large company with waste you’d like someone to turn into something useful. Perhaps you’re an NGO looking for new ways to help disadvantaged kids at school? This platform is for you.
We are looking for concrete challenges that could be solved by entrepreneurs and social innovators. We are looking for challenges targeting a clear issue in a local environment. We are looking for challenges that could be replicable and scalable all over Europe.
Post your challenge and – if it’s accepted - we’ll get entrepreneurs and social innovators to ‘Pitch’ their solution. You’ll help us select the three best ideas. They’ll each get a €30k grant and six months of mentoring to help them turn their company – and your solution – into reality. All you need to do is be the winner’s first client.
Are You an Entrepreneur or Social Innovator?
If you have innovative solutions to pressing social problems, this acceleration platform is for you. In it, you’ll find “challenges”, posted by challenge owners – companies, governments or NGOs with a problem to solve.
Are you interested in helping them and in providing your solution? Make your Pitch: how would you solve it? If selected, you’ll receive a €30k grant and six months of mentoring to help you turn your new product, service, or even brand new startup into reality, with the Challenge Owner as your first client.
What is Social Innovation?
Social innovation is a constantly growing movement of grassroots initiatives, recognized by policy makers on different levels in Europe as an important way to tackle the increasingly-complex social and environmental challenges faced by our societies. However, the potential for social innovation to transform the way we respond to Europe's challenges still remains largely untapped.
Societies across Europe have faced severe challenges over the past decade, from a financial crisis breeding economic instability and political volatility to an ever-increasing pace of technological change that threatens to disrupt the social order. The introduction of digital technology with its deepening of existing inequalities is a good example of such disruption.
Meeting such challenges demands new ideas, new approaches and new perspectives. This has led to the mainstreaming of social innovation as a problem-solving methodology in the last decade. Never before have we been so well-equipped to harness the collective power of civil society to solve problems faced in communities across Europe every day. Increasingly we are seeing national, regional and local governments embracing social innovation principles and approaches as a way to better tackle priority public challenges.