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European Commission selects top 30 ideas to harness technological change

30 organisations with ideas for ‘Equality Rebooted’ in the running for three €50,000 prizes for the best ideas to spread the benefits of technological change in Europe

30 semi-finalists have been selected out of almost 800 entries to the 2017 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition. In response to digitalisation’s transformative effect on the labour market, the 2017 Competition aims to ‘reboot’ equality and shape future society by inspiring fresh, energetic approaches to digital inclusion, collaborative economy, connectivity and skills development.

Applications from 40 European Union and Horizon 2020 countries highlight the vast spread of Europeans coming up with innovations in tools, services and models to allow all members of society to acquire the appropriate skills and seize the opportunities of the digital revolution. See the full 2017 Competition announcement and list of 30 semi-finalists here:

Selected projects focus on digital employment/entrepreneurship for disadvantaged groups, present collaborative initiatives or solutions focused on skills development. Innovations for low wage and low skilled workers are also a priority.

Many of this year’s semi-finalists are using technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, while others are developing platforms for skills building and sharing amongst groups such as women on maternity leave or visually impaired people .

The shortlisted semi-finalists come from all corners of Europe and Horizon 2020 countries from Greece to Slovenia, with the UK in the lead with 6 successful semi-finalists! We also have 5 semi-finalists from Spain, 3 from the Netherlands and Italy each, with successful applications also from Germany, Greece, France, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey

Dr. Vasilis Vlachokyriakos, researcher at OpenLab : Athens and member of the 2017 jury, was impressed by this year’s entries: "It was no easy task to select the 30 semi-finalists this year, however we had a great first jury meeting with many inspiring ideas and discussions. Myself and the rest of the jury are looking forward to keeping the excitement up to create a more equal society through social and technological innovation. I'm excited and hopeful to see the semi-finalists take their journey through the rest of the competition and look forward to seeing them grow and learn at the social innovation academy in July."

Organised since 2012 in memory of Portuguese politician and social innovator Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition will help the most innovative ideas to become real and sustainable projects.

All 30 semi-finalists will take part in a three-day social innovation mentoring academy in Madrid this July to progress their ideas. Following this, the three most innovative projects will each be awarded with a prize of €50,000 at the awards ceremony in October 2017 in Brussels.

For full details please visit:


Follow the competition on Twitter: @EUSocialInnov #diogochallenge