Winners of 2017 European Social Innovation Competition aim at equality through digital innovation
The European Commission (EC), DG Growth, has announced the winners of this year's European Social Innovation Competition. The three winning projects come from the UK, the Netherlands and Slovenia and aimed at equality through digital innovation.
The winners were selected out of a total of 800 entries from 40 countries. Each winner receives €50,000. An additional €50,000 "Impact prize" was given to one of last year’s semi-finalist for their achievements since the last edition.
The Social Innovation Competition aims to find innovations in tools, services, and models that allow everyone to seize the opportunities offered by technological change. This year’s competition was themed "Equality rebooted".
The winners of the competition are:
- Buildx from Great Britain
This collaborative platform offers individual users and local communities the knowledge and tools to design and build sustainable homes. Sustainable buildings become accessible to a broader public and cheaper, which also means access to a larger market for the companies in the supply chain.
- Feelif from Slovenia
A multimedia tool that allows blind and visually-impaired people to feel shapes on a flat screen. An app is combined with a relief grid that lets the user feel ‘bumps’ from shapes and contours on the screen through vibration signals. This inclusive technology can help blind people learn, read and create content.
- Saga from the Netherlands
The project is a peer-to-peer learning network where users learn in-demand tech skills from industry experts in a flexible way. By using blockchain, all completed training and results are kept in a digital record. Users can invite community members to crowd-invest in their education. Investors can get a portion of the user's future income in exchange.
The additional €50,000 "Impact prize" was awarded to 'The Bike Project'. They refurbish second-hand bikes and donate them to refugees and asylum-seekers. To remain sustainable, some of the received bikes are sold through the projects counterpart, the bike shop, so funds can be generated.
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