SIT Guidelines for Applicants

The Tournament runs in two rounds:

  • Key evaluation criteria for the first round selection include: the relative significance of the problem targeted, its innovative components, its estimated social, ethical and/or environmental impact, and evidence that the key success factors of the project needed to move to the next development stage are (or can be) secured.
  • The second round assessment takes into account the scope of the proposal’s societal vision and its overall cost effectiveness as well as the team’s commitment, strategy and implementation capacity. A Selection Committee comprised mainly of EIB Group experts in innovation, environment and other relevant disciplines selects up to 15 projects to proceed to the second round.

The finalists, of which at least four should also qualify for the Special Category Prize (in 2023, projects focusing on sustainable cities and communities), are announced and invited to a tailor-made training programme (mentoring boo(s)tcamp, e-training on pitching and communication techniques, rehearsal days) to provide them with the necessary guidance for the finalisation of their proposals.


In 2023, the winning projects in the General and Special Categories will be awarded a first or second prize of €100 000 and €40 000 respectively.

The winner of the first prize in the General Category will also benefit from an EY mentoring voucher (half-day business plan fine-tuning offered by EY Transaction Advisory Services in Belgium). A Jury, composed of specialists from the academic and business worlds, will identify and nominate the winners of the first and second Prizes in both categories. No winner may be awarded more than one prize.

Other awards:

  • The Audience Choice Award worth €10 000 is decided by public vote.
  • Membership of the SIT Alumni Network. Finalists become members of the SIT Alumni Network and benefit from numerous opportunities, from capacity building and various learning initiatives to networking and international visibility, to scale the impact of their venture. Please consult the SIT Alumni website for more details on all the opportunities available if your project is selected as one of the 15 finalists, or watch a short movie here.


The Tournament is open to individuals or teams from (or residing in) European Union Member States, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries, and EFTA countries whose proposals are to be implemented in at least one of these countries. If a project is selected as a finalist, in order to validate the decision, candidates will need to provide us with proof of their nationality or residency (a copy of their ID, passport or residence permit).

The EIB Institute Tournament aims to attract interest from both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations, mainly from young entrepreneurs and social enterprises, corporate responsibility departments of private sector companies of any size, NGOs and government or local government entities and university communities.

Submissions can be at different stages of the project cycle. Proposals can be innovative ideas which could be implemented within a reasonable time frame and have substantial benefits for society, or already implemented innovative solutions with tangible outcomes in terms of societal impact which could serve as best practices and replicable models. All submissions must commit to using potential awards for the purpose of their proposal.


The finalists of the first round, who will be screened to proceed to the second round of the Tournament, will be announced on the EIB Institute’s website by 17 May 2023 at the latest.

FINAL RESULTS – Second round

All finalists will present their proposals in front of a Jury at the Deep Dive Pitches (event by invitation only) on 27 September 2023, and to the public on 28 September 2023 at the Spark Moments and Awards Dinner (open event). Both events will be held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Other key dates and deadlines.

Questions about the Social Innovation Tournament?

See Frequently Asked Questions,
Register for the Q&A Webinar – Navigating through the SIT Application Process – that will walk you through the application process. – Thursday, 25 January 2023 17:00 (CET)  – Thursday, 9 February 2023 10:00 (CET)