Call for applications 2024

Do you run a project that takes up current social challenges and applies innovative solutions?

SozialMarie – Prize for Social Innovation is announced for the 20th time: We are looking for tried and tested, implemented, effective social innovations in all sectors in Central and Eastern Europe.

The best 15 social innovations will be awarded the SozialMarie on May 1, 2024 in Vienna. The first three main prizes are endowed with €15,000, €10,000 and €5,000, with a further twelve prizes of €2,000 each.


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Award Ceremony


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Who can apply?

Map of the countries from which projects can be submitted

Projects run by private individuals, commercial companies, the social economy (civil society initiatives, NGOs, NPOs, associations) and the public administration are eligible.

Projects implemented in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are invited to apply.

What projects can be submitted?


SozialMarie is a prize for successfully implemented socially innovative projects. Submitted projects are sufficiently implemented and are still running at the time of submission. Completed projects and project ideas are not eligible.

The projects’ innovative character meets our Criteria for Social Innovation.

Project submissions must comply with the terms and conditions.

How to apply?


Submit a project using the application form.

The project submission will be completed in two languages: in the national language of the submission area and in English.

Projects can be submitted until January 16, 2024, 11:55 p.m. Successful project submission will be confirmed by e-mail.

Visit our FAQ for more detailed information.

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?

Example effect

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?



The application documents will be examined with regard to the terms and conditions.


Two project evaluators each from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia make a preselection for the expert jury from the submissions of the respective countries. 

Jury Decision

Based on this preselection, the jury decides in three steps:

1. Determination of the maximum 35 nominations

2. Identification of the 15 prize-winning projects

3. Selection of the three main prizes

If necessary, project visits take place.