Czech, Portuguese and Spanish entrepreneurs win Commission’s Social Innovation Competition

Yesterday evening, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition. Under this year’s theme, “Challenging Plastic Waste”, three private sector projects out of 543 applicants won a €50,000 grant for creating innovative solutions to promote plastic re-use, recycling, plastic waste reduction and drive behaviour changes. The awards went to MIWA (Czechia), a circular distribution and sale system for food and non-food products with reusable packaging, SpraySafe (Portugal), an edible spray to preserve food items that reduces the need for plastic packaging, and VEnvirotech (Spain), a biotech start-up that transforms organic waste into biodegradable plastics using bacteria. Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska congratulated the winners: “Tackling plastic pollution requires commitment, investment but also creativity. I congratulate these three companies for taking part in the European Social Innovation Competition and bringing their ideas and talents in the fight against plastic waste. This is in line with our Plastics Strategy and the Circular Plastics Alliance, which both rely on the active participation of businesses.” The Commission also awarded the 2019 Impact Prize to MTOP Goes Digital (Austria), a learning programme that helps young, highly qualified migrants enter local labour markets. The Impact Prize is given out to one of the semi-finalists from the previous year’s European Social Innovation Competition, in recognition of the positive social impact the project has had in the time since the last competition. Information on earlier editions and winning projects can be found here. More information on the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Circular Plastics Alliance is available online.