Commission launches ageing prize

The European Commission has today launched a €2m prize aimed at improving the mobility of older people.

The Horizon Prize in Social Innovation will be awarded to innovative mobility solutions that enable older citizens to fully participate in social activities, maintain their autonomy, and age healthily.

The winner will receive €1m, while four runners-up will each receive a prize of €250,000.

Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas, who launched the contest at the ‘Opening up to an era of social innovation’ conference in Lisbon, Portugal, said: “In 2060, almost a third of the population of the European Union will be over 65. This share is nearly twice as big as it is today.

“We have no choice but to innovate now in order to address the increasing needs of older citizens, especially the need for improved mobility. Designing and operating mobility solutions will provide new opportunities for innovators and social entrepreneurs.”

The European Commission is seeking replicable and scalable solutions that promote bottom-up creativity by bringing together innovators and organisations from civil society and the private and public sectors.

The winning projects will be expected to combine technological, social and behavioural features, and they will have to be implemented for at least five months during the period of the contest.

Applications are open until 28 February 2019. Submissions are welcome from any legal entities established in the EU or in countries associated to Horizon 2020.

The prize will be awarded in 2019.