The EIB Institute held the second edition of its Social Innovation Tournament with the final selection and award ceremony taking place on Thursday 17 October 2013 in Budapest, Hungary. Over two days in July, and half a day, the day before the final event, the finalists were invited to a mentoring “boot camp” at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, organised in collaboration with Demola-Budapest and the European Entrepreneurship Foundation, to a develop their ideas and presentational skills.
“Budapest is becoming a European centre for innovators and incubators. It already has a long tradition of innovation, particularly social innovation. Some household names are Hungarian innovations”, stated EIB Vice-President László Baranyay in his opening speech at the final event (click here for the agenda and here for the booklet).
Prize winners 2013
Sixteen finalists had been selected from 224 candidates in 24 countries. A Jury from the academic and business community selected the following projects which were declared the winners of the Social Innovation Tournament:
First prize in the General Category went to inBelly, presented by Kristina Saudargaite (Sweden/Lithuania). This smartphone app provides consumers with quick and easy access to complete information about ingredients in popular food items. Scanning a bar code gives details and possible health implications of food additives using independent, crowd-sourced data. The system is being expanded to include non-food products.
Mattecentrum (Sweden) went home with the second prize in the General Category. The aim of the project, presented by its founder Johan Wendt, is to make mathematics fun to learn. Mattecentrum provides free mathematics tuition to young people in classrooms and on-line. Teams of volunteers run workshops and web-based tutoring for school and university students aged nine and above.
Please click here to watch a video of the presentation.
Recicleta, presented by Teia (Catana) Gavrilescu and Cristina Simionescu from Romania, won the first prize in the Special Category “Environment”. Recicleta collects small quantities of waste paper from offices for recycling using cargo-bicycles and employing socially disadvantaged people. In Romania, standard commercial companies will generally only collect waste material in excess of 150 kg. Thanks to this scheme, substantial amounts of paper are recycled instead of being added to landfills and jobs are created. Funding comes from client fees, sponsorship, the sale of waste paper and state support. Moreover, the two cargo-bicycles that are used are an efficient and eco-friendly means of transport, unique to Romania and with zero CO2 emissions.
Bagua Mundi, presented by Matthias Saladin and Ángel Pérez González (Spain), was awarded a mentoring voucher. Bagua Mundi is a simple, cheap and solar-powered, easy-to-transport drinking-water treatment device, aimed at providing access to clean drinking water for everyone. It relies on a well-documented method of solar water disinfection (SODIS, www.sodis.info) and does not require fuel, chemicals or any other external inputs apart from sunlight.
TUTOR-DIS, presented by Alberto Ferreras (Spain), was awarded the second mentoring voucher. TUTOR-DIS is a software tool for mobile devices that helps to create adapted activities and communications resources. The software also includes spatial location and tracking functions. TUTOR-DIS aims to facilitate learning, time management, communication and, in short, the autonomy of people with intellectual and communication disabilities, mainly in working or pre-working environments, but also in other fields such as education or daily living.
Tutor-Dis team received business coaching in Luxembourg and in its home town of Valencia from Hedda Pahlson-Moller, co-founder of the Impactory and a business angel/impact investor. Together, they are developing a strategic vision and business model for sustainable growth.
1 Toit 2 Ages, presented by Régis de Kerautem and Claire de Kerautem (Belgium) aims to combat the loneliness of the elderly while facilitating access to affordable housing for students. Elderly people make spare rooms available to students, either free of charge in return for defined services or for low rent without services.
BikWay, presented by Simon Majdrup Hansen (Denmark) is a temporary and modular cycle path system that enables urban planners to try out new bike lanes rapidly and at low cost. Made from recycled and recyclable materials, these reusable paths are quick and cheap to assemble. They make it possible to perform real-life short-term tests without the need to install costly, permanent infrastructure. Once the trial is completed, the paths can be dismantled and used elsewhere.
Irrepressible Voices, presented by Linda Walter and Isabel Gahren (from Germany) is aimed at making the citizen’s voice heard. “Citizen journalists” post videos related to human rights issues on this secure, anonymous web platform, with crowd verification to ensure that the information posted is accurate and valid. Journalists can find genuine content and interesting topics and establish contact with protagonists and change-makers.
JoinIn, presented by Savvas Charalambous and Kristy Eliades (Cyprus) connects problems with solutions, and people with people. Social needs are highlighted using this real time, online information system. This enables governments and civil society organisations to request support from teams of skilled volunteers. Examples include legal and medical help for socially excluded people, food banks for the destitute and community environment projects.
MIRAorti, presented by Stefano Olivari and Marco Bottignole (Italy). Substantial areas of land have been occupied illegally for use as gardens on the outskirts of many Italian towns. In recent years, these unregulated areas have become synonymous with social and environmental problems. MIRAorti works with the gardeners in a participatory way to regularise the situation and make environmental improvements. High-quality, horticultural, leisure and educational facilities are created for the whole community.
Neighbours, presented by Heleen Agterhuis and Dionne Sillé (Netherlands) is a marketplace supported by a small team of matchmakers/community-builders, where supply and demand for care and assistance meet. This online platform puts volunteer workers in touch with community members who need help. For example, an elderly person seeking companionship or assistance with household tasks can be put in touch with a willing neighbour. Similarly, a recently graduated psychologist seeking work experience may offer free consultations. Operating in Haarlem in the Netherlands, the project resulted in 10 000 matches during its first 30 months.
Organery, presented by Ioannis Mourgis and Theodore Nikolakopoulos (Greece) addresses the issue of waste management in highly populated urban areas by using high tech composting bins for organic waste. A complete composting process takes place in these special bins installed in each neighbourhood. This is monitored online to ensure more efficient waste collection and management, as well as to minimise the use of landfills while creating valuable compost.
OrtiAlti, presented by Elena Carmagnani and Emanuela Saporito (Italy) supports the design and creation of urban rooftop gardens using a unique “tool kit” of materials and services. These green spaces are a source of fruit and vegetables and also a means of recycling household waste as compost. In addition, they help to manage storm water, protect against the heat in the summer, insulate against the cold in the winter and create spaces that can be used for recreational and educational activities. The vegetation also dampens traffic noise.
The Yard, presented by Tamara Moore and Lucy Oliver Harrison (UK) is a social interaction project that ensures a vital exchange of artists’ skills and community resources, promoting access to the arts for all. Artists are provided space in which to develop their work and in return they lead community arts workshops. Based in a disused warehouse in an economically disadvantaged area of East London, the Yard has become a cultural and community multi-art hub. As well as encouraging greater involvement in the arts, the centre also fosters community spirit.
Please click here if you would like to watch a video of the presentation.
uMAYOR, presented by Domenico Schillaci and Mauro Filippi (Italy) simplifies the reporting of social issues by citizens to public authorities. By creating a dedicated, local online social network, lines of communication are shortened, resulting in direct contact between citizens and local government. This greatly reduces the time from the moment an issue is identified to its subsequent registration at the relevant department. uMAYOR turns every citizen into a kind of “Ombudsman 2.0”.
Vollpension, presented by Moriz Piffl-Percevic and David Haller (Austria) is a coffee house that provides an inter-generational space in Vienna where young people meet pensioners who serve the cakes they bake while sharing their life stories and experience. Not only does this project create jobs and activities for senior citizens but it fosters inter-generational contact in a unique atmosphere.
What participants say about the competition:
“The Hand-in-Scan hand hygiene assessment device received first prize in the EIB Institution’s 2012 Social Innovation Tournament. With the professional and financial support of the award, the team has successfully negotiated a venture capital investment to develop the market-ready version of the earlier prototype. In the meantime, the EIB SIT prize has enabled the team to continue its prototype development leading to better technical solutions, while becoming an integrated part of Semmelweis University’s MD programme in Budapest.” Tamas Haidegger, CEO of Hand-in-Scan, winner of the competition in 2012.