European Social Innovation Competition: 2023 winners announced!

The European Commission has officially announced  the three winners of the  European Social Innovation Competition 2023 : this year’s challenge was “fighting energy poverty”.

The announcement took place in the context of the European Conference “Social Economy: People, Planet, Action”, organised by the Spanish Presidency in San Sebastian within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The winners are (in alphabetical order)

  • City of Eeklo (Belgium)
  • EmpowerMed – consortium composed by the following entities:
    • Focus Drustvo Za Sonaraven Razvoj (Slovenia)
    • Associació catalana d’Enginyeria Sense Fronteres (Spain)
    • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)
    • Women engage for a common future (Germany)
    • Geres groups energies renouvables (France)
    • Milieukontakt Shqiperi (Albania)
    • Sogesca s.r.l. (Italy)
    • Drustvo Za Oblikovanje Odrzivog Razvoja (Croatia)
    • Fundacio Institut de recerca de l’energia de Catalunya (Spain)
  • Fundacion Ecologia y Desarrollo (ECODES) – Spain

Each of them will receive €50 000. Moreover, all 15 finalists of this edition will be invited to attend the European Social Innovation Academia in Brussels (31 January and 1 February 2024). Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

The EU is committed to tackling energy poverty. Our focus is not just on providing access to essential energy services and products, but on fundamentally enhancing the quality of life for the most vulnerable consumers. The winners of the European Social Innovation Competition 2023 made a tangible difference in the lives of many. I hope their achievements inspire others across Europe.

The winners are all social innovation projects with ambitious and impactful tools to tackle this year’s challenge: “fighting energy poverty”. The European Social Innovation Competition 2023 supports proposed solutions coming from social innovators to fight energy poverty in the broadest sense. You can learn more about the winning projects here.


This eleventh edition of the European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) is supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Horizon Europe.

The European Social Innovation Competition aims at stimulating the potential of social innovation to provide solutions to societal challenges that we face and to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. It directly supports ideas best illustrating this rationale. It engages people, businesses, and start-ups in a large range of sectors, as well as universities, engineering schools and civil society organisations thereby creating new connections, sources of sustainable growth and meaningful job opportunities.

The prize attracts a great number of applicants each year. Past editions topics were the following: ‘the future of living, innovation for affordable and sustainable housing districts’ (2022), Skills for tomorrow – Shaping a green and digital future (2021), Reimagine Fashion (2020), Challenging Plastic Waste (2019), Re:think Local (2018), Equality Rebooted (2017), Integrated Futures (2016), New Ways to Grow (2015), The Job Challenge (2014), and New forms of work (2013).

EUSIC is one of the five European Innovation Council Prizes granted under Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme. While the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) manages the prize, independent experts assess the applications.

Source: European Innovation Council | News (