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Today, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition.  The three winning projects from the 2019 “Challenging Plastic Waste” Competition will each receive 50.000 euro for demonstrating outstanding potential to reduce plastic waste and improve re-use and recycling at a systemic level. Drumroll: and the winners are:

  • MIWA (Czech Republic)
    An innovative, financially sustainable circular distribution and sale system for food and non-food products with re-usable packaging.
  • SpraySafe (Portugal)
    An edible spray to be applied to the surface of foods in order to preserve them, thus reducing the need for plastic wrapping and containers.
  • VEnvirotech (Spain)
    A biotech start-up that transforms organic waste into biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastics using bacteria.

The three 2019 Winners were selected from a total of 543 initial applicants from across Europe. In July, 30 Semi-Finalists took part in the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition’s Academy; an intensive training and coaching programme designed to develop their initiatives. Out of these thirty semi-finalists the jury chose ten finalists.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs commented: “the European Social Innovation Competition clearly shows how we can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing European society through innovation and entrepreneurship. I would like to congratulate especially the three winners and to thank all of the participants for their entrepreneurship, ingenuity and enthusiasm.”

Alumni Network

During the event, the European Commission also announced the launch of the European Social Innovation Competition Alumni Network. All of the Competition’s Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners will now have the opportunity to join this community of entrepreneurs, thus fostering cooperation between innovators across the different themes covered by the Competition. They will also benefit from added exposure, as sector relevant bodies and aspiring innovators will be able to find them on the new online directory.

This year it’s the 7th edition of the competition organised by the European Commission run across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 associated countries. The competition acts as a beacon for social innovators in Europe, employing a proven method for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of innovators shaping society for the better. Each year the Competition addresses a different issue facing Europe. This year the focus is: Challenging Plastic Waste.