Meet the Social Innovation Tournament finalists

The 15 finalists selected for the Social Innovation Tournament, a flagship initiative of the EIB Institute‘s Social Programme will participate in a mentoring bootcamp in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on the 27-28th June. Experts on business and social entrepreneurship will offer practical advice on improving all aspects of each project, focusing on developing the final pitch of each project. Final presentations of the project will take place in Riga, Latvia, on 21st September.

Come and meet them on June 27th, at Impact Hub Cluj, in an open event starting at 19.00. The open networking event is dedicated to bringing together and exchanging experiences of local and international entrepreneurs working for social impact. At a great venue, with food and drinks to make for a friendly atmosphere, let’s learn from each other about how to create projects in a wide range of fields – from education, health care and the natural and urban environments, to new technologies, new systems and new processes – in order to combat social exclusion.

What is the Social Innovation Tournament

The Social Innovation Tournament is part of the EIB Institute’s Social Programme. It recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs, rewarding innovative projects that create social value and combat social exclusion in Europe. It is organised in a different country every year to reward and sponsor European entrepreneurs whose primary purpose is to generate a social, ethical or environmental impact.

Four prizes are awarded by a jury of specialists from the academic and business world: general category and special category first and second place prizes of EUR 50 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively. In 2017, the special category prizes will go to projects focusing on ageing.

The EIB Institute was set up within the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) to promote initiatives for the common good in Europe, mostly in EU Member States. This includes reducing inequalities, enhancing knowledge, innovation and competitiveness and ensuring cohesion throughout Europe. With the support of its network of partners, the Institute is a catalyst for social, cultural, educational and research activities directed towards economic and social development.

Meet the 2017 finalists!


A Spanish based nonprofit, Adopta un Abuelo (or Adopt a Grandparent), brings together young volunteers with elderly people, in order to spend time with them and organize various activities, highlighting the role all grandfathers and grandmothers have around the world.

Arborea Ltd.

Arborea Ltd is a UK-based, biochemical technology company which provides bionic cultivation infrastructures and biotechnology services. Their bionic paneling system, the first of its kind, can be applied on land or roofs of large industrial and commercial buildings and help reduce and even out carbon emissions. Moreso, building owners benefit from improved thermal insulation and cooling effects.


ColorADD is a unique, universal, inclusive and non-discriminative language that enables the colorblind to identify colors, with a wide spectrum of use for organizations and public institutions where color is a factor of identification, orientation or choice. The ColorADD code is based on three graphic symbols representing the three primary colors. Through the acquired knowledge of the “Color Addition Theory” taught in the early scholar years, the symbols can be related and the entire color pallet graphically identified.

Complex Disease Detector

After his grandmother died of a sudden heart attack, Allen Ali Mohammadi started to develop technology for the early diagnosis of heart problems. The result of the development work done by him and his brother is based on artificial intelligence and combines demographic data with medical findings, in order to help in early detection of heart problems.

Discovering hands

discovering hands® is a German company that trains and deploys visually impaired women with their highly developed sensory skills to detect early signs of breast cancer. “Medical Tactile Examiners” are trained to deliver physical breast examinations at doctors’ practices, using a standardized diagnostic method, to have context-adapted communication skills and perform administrative tasks in the context of a medical practice.


SightPlus is an electronic headset that allows people with visual impairment to see again. It is a wearable, hands-free, portable device, that uses accessible technology to enhance remaining sight and bring the world back into focus for people with poor eyesight.


GIVMED is a nonprofit organization from Greece building a community that encourages and enables individuals to share their unused, unexpired medicines and save people’s lives. They work together with social pharmacies, elderly houses and NGOs in order to be aware of the medicine shortages they have.

Hidden Heroes

Dialogue with Time – The Art of Aging is an exhibition about old age and the process of aging. It allows the audience to experience the world of older people. The exhibition consists of several stations that present various aspects of aging in a creative and playful way.


Kaitiaki is an Italian social startup providing an online service for parents to receive alerts when the social media profiles of their children show patterns of bullying. The service aims to strike the balance between parental oversight and securing the children’s privacy.

MagikMe inclusive playground equipment

MagikMe’s mission is to make everyday family fun available for families who (also) raise special children, and to start social integration as early as possible, even before kindergarten. That is why they develop playground equipment that can be used by physically disabled children who cannot sit unassisted. Playground equipment where disabled and able-bodied children can actually meet, mingle, and play together.


Mycarematters is a social enterprise based in UK, designed to be a secure and reliable way of helping people tell healthcare professionals things they should know about a person. This, in turn, helps medical staff in treating their patients in a dignified and person-centred manner, if they are admitted to hospital. It will enable them to see beyond a medical condition, and to know more about what matters to a patient. is an Austrian social enterprise that pursues the goal of creating equal chances on the labour market for migrants. They make refugee’s potential accesible to the labor market and help break down negative stereotypes towards refugees.

The Freebird Club

The Freebird Club was established in 2015 as a social travel & home-stay club exclusively for the over 50’s. It is developing as an international ‘peer-to-peer’ membership club, whereby Freebird members who opt to become ‘hosts’ can make their spare rooms available to fellow member ‘guests’ to come and stay, based on a set nightly rate. Members who wish to travel, can search for suitable member hosts in destinations near and far, knowing that a genuine, warm and personal welcome awaits them from a fellow Freebird Club member.

Ultraspecialisti is an Italian startup based in Milano that works in the healthcare sector. Its web platform connects patients and their caregivers with doctors specialized in diverse disciplines, for accessible consults in oncology.

Walk With Path

Walk With Path is a UK-based healthcare company focused on injury prevention, improved mobility and user-centred design and intervention. Their products comprise of a shoe attachment, Path Finder, that provides visual cues for the wearer to follow, improving their movement and gait, and an insole for shoes, Path Feel, which helps the wearer to feel the ground better by providing active feedback.These reduce the risk of injury, but also improve confidence when walking and ultimately help individuals maintain their independence and quality of life for longer.