What is the best way to find new ideas to solve old problems? In the face of a huge unemployment problem across Europe, the European Commission wanted to attract the brightest minds to come up with new solutions. In 2012 they decided to try a competition to see what response they would get.
They offered three prizes of €30,000 and were delighted to receive 605 ideas from across Europe, including many from organisations they had not come across before. They shortlisted 30 of those ideas, then chose 3 winners: Community Catalysts (UK), Economy App (Germany) and Mitwin.net (Spain).
And it wasn't just the winners who benefited - the 30 shortlisted projects got lots of publicity, the opportunity to meet others doing the same things in other countries, and to learn from people who had done it before.
The Commission was so pleased with the results of the first competition that they have already run a second round that attracted twice the number of entries. You can find details of the 30 semi-finalists here, and look out of the winners, who are due to be announced later in May 2014.
For more information