SIT Rules for Applicants

The Tournament runs in two rounds: key evaluation criteria for the 1st round selection include the relative significance of the problem targeted, the sustainability of the innovation proposed and the estimated social, ethical and/or environmental impact of the proposed solution. The second round assessment will take account of the likelihood for implementation based on 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 2nd round. The finalists, of which at least four should also qualify for the Special Category Prize, are announced and invited to a tailor-made training programme (Mentoring Bootcamp, e-training on pitching, one-to-one coaching sessions) to provide them with the necessary guidance for the finalisation of their proposals.

The Final Event, where all finalists will present their proposals, will be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 7 October 2021.

A Jury, composed of specialists from the academic and business worlds, will identify and nominate the winners of the 1st and 2nd Prizes in both categories.  The Audience Choice is awarded by the audience, based on their votes. All projects compete for the General Category and Special Category 1st and 2nd Prizes of €50 000 and €20 000 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).  In 2021, the Special Category Prize will go to projects focusing on the sustainable living. No winner may be awarded more than one prize.

Two projects will be selected to attend the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme in Fontainebleau, France.

Finalists become members of the SIT Alumni Network and can apply to participate in a Scaling Executive Programme, e-learning programmes, webinars, innovation grants programme (SITolarships), investor’s fair and other mentoring activities.

Who can apply? The EIB Institute Tournament responds to the considerable need for greater emphasis on Social Innovation and 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. Entries from student teams are also welcome.

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 use potential awards for the purpose of their proposal.

The Tournament is open to individuals or teams from (or residing in) the European Union Member States, enlargement countries, and EFTA countries that submit proposals to be implemented in one or more such countries.

Questions about the Social Innovation Tournament? Please see Frequently Asked Questions or email: