Criteria for Social Innovation

SozialMarie is a prize for successfully implemented socially innovative projects. The evaluation of submitted projects is based on the SozialMarie Criteria for Social Innovation:


Innovation in the project idea – Novelty: in the matter or at the place

  • Does the project deal with new societal challenges?
  • Does the project use new social solutions?
  • Does the project deal with target groups or topics that have so far received little attention?
  • Is the project owner (the organisation, the company, the public authority, the private individual) newly involved in the field of social innovation?


Innovation in accessing target groups – Involvement: passive, active or independent

  • Is the target group involved in the project, or have those affected developed the project themselves?
  • What are the concrete and sustainable benefits of the project for the target group?
  • Does the project promote the potential of the target group?
  • Does the project contribute to the social appreciation of the target group?


Innovation in implementation – Impact: quantitative, qualitative

  • Is the implementation of the project idea imaginative, creative, inventive and courageous?
  • How effective is social innovation, what results and impacts can be observed for whom?
  • Does the project react to changing requirements, for example in the target group, the problem, the framework conditions?
  • Is there cooperation between different (professional) groups with diverse competences or scientific expertise?


Innovation in public perception – Example effect: direct or indirect

  • Is the project networked with other organizations, companies, institutions?
  • How is the project integrated into local and regional environments?
  • Are other organisations, companies, sponsors, supporters, media and politicians curious about the project?
  • Can the proven solution be transferred to other contexts?