About the prize

SozialMarie is the oldest prize for social innovation in Europe and honours since 2005 every year 15 outstanding projects in the field of social innovation. Beyond a financial recognition adding up to 54,000 Euros, SozialMarie primarily offers a public platform for projects that by means of new approaches provide innovative answers to societal challenges. 

"Social innovation drafts solutions to pressing social challenges. It provides room for new approaches, gives innovative answers and lays news paths. Social innovation either reacts to a new social question or it solves a known problem by a new practice. Action can be taken by the affected social group itself, it must in any case be appropriated and co-implemented by those concerned. In this manner, social innovation creates sustainable, exemplary solutions that inspire others."

(Definition social innovation, Unruhe Private Foundation)

SozialMarie - Prize for social innovation

Transcending national borders from the outset, SozialMarie call for applications and SozialMarie awards have in the meantime acquired a solid reputation in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and also in Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, Poland and Croatia. Unruhe Private Foundation, established by Wanda Moser-Heindl and Friedrich Moser in 2000, manages the prizes. 

A courage injection for creative social projects

Beyond the novelty of solutions for social problems, the SozialMarie-criteria of social innovation primarily include the extent to which respective target groups are reached and the effectiveness of implementation. SozialMarie is a premium seal of quality for good and effective social innovation. By means of this prize, the goal is to encourage networking amongs projects and bring the discussion regarding social innovation forward.

The SozialMarie Award ceremony

Amongst all the submissions in the current call, the Experts of the SozialMarie Jury selects the best 15 projects and the winning projects are announced and awarded on 1st of May at the Award Ceremony in ORF RadioKulturhaus in Vienna. 

Active Patronage

Every year during the Award Ceremony on 1st of May SozialMarie patrons overtake the accompaniment and/or support of one of the prize winning projects of their choice over the following year.

SozialMarie Audience Award

The SozialMarie Audience Award is given out every year to four projects submitted from all over Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - countries that belong as total to the submission area by SozialMarie calls. Only audience decides about the prizes and can vote four times, once per country.