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Horizon Prize for Social Innovation in Europe - SC6-Social-Innovation-Prize-2019
Deadline: Feb 28, 2018  

 Social Innovation
 Disadvantaged People
 Health Care
 IT Applications
 Urban transport
 Mental health

Horizon prize for social innovation Improved mobility for older people



The ageing of European population is a pressing challenge, creating a broad range of issues. Mobility is a particularly complex one, as it intersects many other issues1. This contest focuses on the out-of-home movement of people from one place to another. Improved mobility has a positive impact on older people’s independence and participation in socio-economic life (resulting in benefits for themselves and for society as a whole), and also facilitates their access to educational, medical, cultural and other services. Ultimately, mobility is critical to the wellbeing of older people, and to their physical and mental health.

Public transport does not always meet the special needs of the elderly, notably those with mobility or other impairments – whether at city level or when preparing a multimodal journey across Europe.

1.1 Objectives pursued

The aim of the prize is to improve the mobility of older people by providing innovative mobility solutions allowing them to maintain independence and actively participate in social life.

While the main target group is the elderly (aged 65+), the solutions developed in the context of this contest may also be beneficial to other parts of the population, such as people with reduced mobility.

This inducement prize requires applicants to demonstrate that their solution was implemented or underwent major changes, between the opening date and the submission of their application. Major changes may e.g. relate to the features of the solution, to the user population (scaling-up, or replication in other locations), or to the adaptation of a pre-existing scheme to new categories of users.

To allow for creativity, each contestant can decide the nature of the solution to be developed and submitted. The solutions should also address “soft” issues such as communication and integrated personalised services2, and not only purely technical ones (linked e.g. to infrastructure, vehicles, software/apps, etc.)..

Within the broad area of out-of-home mobility, each contestant will be free to decide on which issue(s) its solution will focus, in terms of target population, journey typology, geographical factors, etc. To offer an example (which does not restrict in any way the general scope of the contest), a particular issue for which solutions are scarce, or fragmented and insufficiently integrated, is about door-to-door mobility based on multimodal journey planning for persons with reduced mobility.

The award criteria (section 5 below) describe in detail how the submitted solutions will be evaluated.

1.2 Expected results

The solutions proposed should represent significant long-term improvements for specific target groups, such as elderly people living in isolated areas, or older persons with reduced mobility3 in urban areas. Applicants should also explain their solution’s impact with respect to the creation of new market opportunities and jobs e.g. in innovative small companies, transport operators, social economy start-ups or NGOs at local, regional or national level.

The solutions will be assessed based on progress made – and evidenced – against the award criteria between opening of the contest and submission of the application. These award criteria, set forth below, further clarify the expected results.



One first prize of EUR 1,000,000 and four prizes of EUR 250,000 each (thus 2 M€ in total).



Opening of the submission
27 November 2017

Deadline to declare intention to participate
31 July 2018

Closing date for submission
28 February 2019 at 17:00 CET

March to June 2019

Third quarter of 2019


Applications must be submitted by the participant via the Participant Portal Submission Service.

Joint applications by a group of participants are admitted. In this case, the participants must appoint a 'lead participant' to represent them towards the Commission. The participants will be jointly responsible and must all fulfil and respect the conditions set out in these Rules of Contest. Applications must be readable, accessible and printable. Incomplete applications may be considered inadmissible if essential elements are missing (see General Annex B to the Main Work Programme).

The page-limit for your prize application (Part B) is 20 pages, not counting possible annexes (of max. 20 pages in total – for data and secondary information, including for instance figures, business plans, pictures, etc.).

In addition to a written application, applicants are also encouraged to prepare a short video (max. duration 4 minutes, max. file size 3 GB) supporting their application, with the understanding that this video, if submitted, will be viewed by jury members and may be made public by the Commission (either the entire video or parts thereof), e.g. through websites. The jury will be instructed not to pay attention to the technical quality of the videos.

Applicants must moreover declare their intention to participate by registering their interest via RTD-SOCIAL- by 31 July 2018.

Sample application forms will be available on the Participant Portal Reference documents page.



4.1 Eligibility criteria

The contest is open to any legal entity (including natural persons) or group of legal entities established in an EU Member State or in a country associated to Horizon 2020.

Please note however that special rules may apply for entities from certain countries (see General Annex C to the Main Work Programme).Please also be aware that participants that have already received an EU or Euratom prize cannot receive a second prize for the same activities.

4.2 Exclusion criteria

Participants will be excluded if they (or one of them):

  •   are subject to an administrative sanction (i.e. exclusion)4

  •   are in one of the following situations5:

    •   bankrupt, being wound up, having their affairs administered by the courts, entered into an arrangement with creditors, suspended business activities or subject to any other similar proceedings or procedures under national law (including persons with unlimited liability for the participant's debts)

    •   declared in breach of social security or tax obligations by a final judgment or decision (including persons with unlimited liability for the participant's debts)

    •   found guilty of grave professional misconduct6 by a final judgment or decision (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)

    •   convicted of fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorism-related crimes (including terrorism financing), child labour or human trafficking (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)

    •   shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations under a procurement contract, grant agreement or grant decision financed by the EU or Euratom budget (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)

    •   found guilty of irregularities within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Regulation No 2988/95 (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)

  •   have misrepresented information required for participating in the contest or fail to submit such information

  •   were involved in the preparation of the prize documents and this entails a distortion of competition.



Compliance with the criteria below (including the description of the respective baseline scenario) needs to be demonstrated on the basis of clear and objective measurements, in accordance with the following explanations. Applicants are encouraged to go beyond these minimum requirements, and to rely on additional indicators as appropriate.

The prizes will be awarded to the entries that in the opinion of the jury demonstrates a solution that best addresses the following specific award criteria:


Social impact

Improvement (against the closest existing solutions) of participation of older people in social activities (e.g. access to culture, entertainment, community activities, sports, education, healthcare, meeting family and friends, shopping, vacation).

Addressing unmet needs would be particularly valuable.

Appropriate indicators (e.g. wellbeing, as reflected by satisfaction surveys) will have to be developed by applicants – possibly also adressing specific categories of users if relevant.

Higher marks will be given for defining and using additional indicators; in particular, regarding the assessment of both social and economic impact, the Social Return on Investment (SROI7) approach is one possible option.


Economic impact

The economic impact of the proposed solution, assessed on the basis of its implementation during the contest period, must be clearly quantified and analysed. This should include as many perspectives as possible – of municipalities, operators of the solution and society at large; in terms of direct and also indirect impact (e.g. enabling more economic provision of healthcare).

Where appropriate, job/company creation aspects should also be considered.


Community engagement

Community engagement relates to the involvement of the community during the development, implementation and/or assessment of the proposed solution – including in terms of promoting awareness, or of providing funding (in particular via community-based funding sources such as NGOs, crowdfunding or charities).

Community includes groups such as potential users and/or their representative associations, authorities such as municipalities, general citizens, NGOs, social services, retirement homes, local/regional businesses, volunteers, etc. supporting the solution.

Where appropriate, shared benefits for several of these groups should be underlined.



Scalability and replicability

Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed solution can be scaled-up at its current location or beyond (e.g.: extension from urban to regional level, or to new user categories), and/or be replicated in other locations, especially in other EU Member States. Evidence should be provided as part of a business plan, based e.g. on a market analysis, including user needs that have not yet been met.

When assessing scalability and replicability, constraints and risks should be clearly identified. The case being, cultural factors (not least language issues) should also be considered.

Any constraints or assumptions must be explicitly disclosed (e.g. the fact that the solution is only targeting certain categories of users, or requires the use of a smartphone or personal computer, or is only applicable for city-level transportation).



Applicants must demonstrate the economic long-term sustainability of the proposed solution – addressing questions such as: How affordable is the proposed solution? How is long-term operational funding ensured? How will the necessary resources be ensured (staffing, buildings, vehicles, IT systems, maintenance and upgrades, etc.), especially in the event of an up-scaling? Higher marks will be given to environment-conscious solutions8.

Originality and creativity

Each application must describe the state-of-the-art, i.e. those pre-existing schemes9 that are closest to the proposed solution, before explaining to what extent the proposed solution represents an improvement over these pre-existing schemes. Higher marks will be given to solutions substantially different from existing schemes, not relying on minor improvements.

Originality and creativity should primarily reside in the features having an positive impact on the users, but may also relate to the business model underlying the solution proposed, or to the methodology used to develop it.


Improved mobility of older (65+) people – or of specific categories thereof10 – (against the closest existing solutions) has to be demonstrated in a measurable way in terms of ease of travel (reduced travel time for a given journey/distance, accessibility of services, satisfaction of customers, frequency of service, etc.).

Solutions implemented for less than 5 months during the contest period will attract marks lower than 5 for this criterion.

Higher marks will be given to applications relating to solutions which have been successfully tested with a significant user base.

Applicants are expected to define and use suitable indicators depending on the nature of their solution, e.g. specific to urban, rural or long-distance multimodal mobility11, and/or to specific user groups, etc.



The mandatory supporting documents are set out in the application form.

Participants may be asked at a later stage for further documents (for legal entity validation, bank account validation, ethics review, declaration of honour on exclusion grounds, etc.).



The evaluation of applications will be carried out by a jury of independent evaluators.

If there are more than 50 applications, there will be a pre-selection phase, carried out by a pre-selection panel, to select the best 50 applications to pass to jury review. Otherwise, all applications will pass directly to jury review. The pre-selection panel and the jury may have a different composition. The jury review will identify up to 10 finalists, provided that their marks reach at least the thresholds mentioned below. The finalists will be invited in the 2nd quarter of 2019 for a hearing with the jury. On-site visits may also be conducted in order to assess the solutions proposed by the finalists. On the basis of the jury’s evaluation of the applications, hearings and possible visits – which will not be binding on the Commission –, the latter will decide on the award of the prize, and reserves the right to select a smaller number of winners or no winner at all.

The jury evaluation is planned to take place between March and June 2019.


The pre-selection panel/jury will evaluate each eligible application against the 7 award criteria:


1. Social impact

Maximum points 20


2. Economic impact

Maximum points 10


3. Community engagement

Maximum points 15


4. Scalability and replicability

Maximum points 15


5. Sustainability of the solution

Maximum points 10


6. Originality and creativity

Maximum points 15


7. Measurability

Threshold 5

Maximum points 15


Overall threshold

Threshold 70

Maximum points 100


Based on the evaluation a first prize of EUR 1,000,000 and four prizes of EUR 250,000 will be awarded.

For applications with the same score, the pre-selection panel/jury will determine a priority order according to the following approach: the scores for the criteria No 1 and 2 will be given a weight of 2 and the scores for the other criteria will be given a weight of 1. If two applications tie for the first rank, the price will be divided and awarded to both.

The overall threshold is 70/100.
All participants will be informed by mid-2019 on the outcome of their application.



8.1 Payment arrangements

The prize money (EUR 2,000,000) will be paid to each of the winners in one instalment after the award ceremony by bank transfer, provided all the requested documents have been submitted.

Although no requirement is set as regards the use of the funds, winners of the contest are encouraged to use the prize money to further develop their solution.

8.2 Publicity — Promoting the prize — Visibility of EU funding

8.2.1 Publicity by the winners

Both finalists and winners must promote the prize and its results, by providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public) in a strategic and effective manner.

Unless the Commission requests or agrees otherwise or unless it is impossible, any communication activity related to the action (including in electronic form, via social media, etc.) must:

  1. (a)  display the EU emblem and

  2. (b)  include the following text:

    “Xxxxxxx [name of the applicant] was finalist for/winner of the Horizon Prize for Social Innovation from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme”.

When displayed together with another logo, the EU emblem must have appropriate prominence.

For the purposes of their obligations, the finalists and winners may use the EU emblem without first obtaining approval from the Commission.

This does not, however, give it the right to exclusive use.

Moreover, they may not appropriate the EU emblem or any similar trademark or logo, either by registration or by any other means.

8.2.2 Publicity by the Commission

The Commission may use, for its communication and publicising activities, information relating to the action, documents notably summaries for publication as well as any other material, such as pictures or audio-visual material that it receives from the participants (including in electronic form), especially to the extent that such information and documents are able to promote the replication of the solution.

The Commission will publish the name of both the finalists and the winners, their origin, the amount of the prize and its nature and purpose — unless they have requested to waive this publication (because disclosure risks threatening its security and safety or harm its commercial interest).

Photos and videos taken by the Commission either in preparation of the award ceremony or during the award ceremony are the sole property of the Commission.

8.3 Dissemination and exploitation of results

The winner(s) must comply with the obligations set out in Title III of the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation Regulation No 1290/201312.

For more information and best practice, see Articles 23a-31 of the H2020 AGA — Annotated grant agreement.

8.4 Processing of personal data

8.4.1 Processing of personal data by the Commission

Any personal data will be processed by the Commission under Regulation No 45/200113 and in accordance with the Participant Portal privacy notice(s).

All finalists and winners consent that the Commission publishes the following information:

  •   name

  •   country of origin (address or NUTS 2 region)

  •   summary / main features of the submitted solution

  •   their activities in relation to the award of the prize (via the summary for publication they provided)

  •   prize amount

  •   video submitted by the applicants (if any).

in whatever form and medium.

8.4.2. Processing of personal data by the participants

The participants must process personal data in compliance with applicable EU and national law on data protection (including authorisations or notification requirements, if any).


8.5 Ethics

The activities must be carried out in compliance with:

  1. (a)  ethical principles (including the highest standards of research integrity) and

  2. (b)  applicable international, EU and national law.

No prize will be awarded for activities carried out outside the EU, if they are prohibited in all Member States.

The participants must ensure that the activities have an exclusive focus on civil applications.

The participants must ensure that the activities do not:

  1. (a)  aim at human cloning for reproductive purposes

  2. (b)  intend to modify the genetic heritage of human beings which could make such changes heritable (with the exception of research relating to cancer treatment of the gonads) or

  3. (c)  intend to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research or for the purpose of stem cell procurement, including by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Research activities involving human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are moreover subject to the conditions set out in the Statement of the Commission related to research activities involving human embryonic stem cells.

The participants must respect the highest standards of research integrity — as set out, for instance, in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity14.

For more information and best practice, see the Participant Portal Online Manual, the Guidance — How to complete your ethics self assessment and the Guidance note — Research focusing exclusively on civil applications.

8.6 Security

The activities must be carried out in compliance with Commission Decision 2015/444, i.e. security-sensitive information must be EU-classified, if its unauthorised disclosure could adversely impact the interests of the EU or of one or more of its Member States. Applications that are too security-sensitive cannot be awarded a prize.

For more information and best practice, see the Guidance — Guidelines for the classification of information in research projects, the Guidance — Guidelines for the handling of classified information in EU research projects, the Guidance note — Potential misuse of research results and the Guidance note — Research involving dual use items.

8.7 Conflict of interests

The participants must take all measures to prevent any situation where the impartial and objective award of the prize is compromised for reasons involving economic interest, political or national affinity, family or emotional ties or any other shared interest (‘conflict of interests’).

They must inform the Commission without delay of any situation constituting or likely to lead to a conflict of interests and immediately take all the necessary steps to rectify this situation.

The Commission may verify that the measures taken are appropriate and may require additional measures to be taken by a specified deadline.

8.8 Liability for damages

The Commission cannot be held liable for any damage caused to the participants or to third parties as a consequence of the prize, including for gross negligence.

The Commission cannot be held liable for any damage caused by any of the participants in the context of the prize.

8.9 Checks, audits and investigations

The Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Court of Auditors may carry out checks, audits and investigations in relation to the prize.

8.10 Withdrawal of the prize — Recovery of undue amounts

The Commission may withdraw the prize after its award and recover all payments made, if it finds out that:

  1. (a)  false information, fraud or corruption was used to obtain it

  2. (b)  a winner was not eligible or should have been excluded

  3. (c)  a winner is in serious breach of its obligations under these Rules of Contest.

8.11 Administrative sanctions

If a participant has committed irregularities or fraud or has made false declarations, the Commission may also:

  1. (a)  exclude the participant from all future contracts, grants and contests financed from the EU or Euratom budget for a maximum of five years (or 10 years in case of repetition) and/or

  2. (b)  impose a financial penalty between 2% and 10% of the value of the prize (or between 4% and 20% in case of repetition).

8.12 Cancellation of the contest

The Commission may cancel the contest or decide not to award the prize — without any obligation to compensate participants —, if:

  1. (a)  no applications are received

  2. (b)  the jury does not find a winner, or

  3. (c)  the winner is not eligible or must be excluded.

8.13 Complaints

Complaints against decisions negatively affecting the rights of a participant or winner can be brought before the General Court — or, on appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union — under Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).



For more information, please see In case of general (e.g. legal) questions relating to Horizon 2020, please contact the Research Enquiry Service. For questions specifically relating to this prize, please contact

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