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Olympic Award Challenge – solving Europe’s Problems!

While the world’s sport elite is competing for precious metal in Sochi, young ICT developers from 49 countries enter the online-battle for Europe’s most outstanding digital solutions.

Whereas Germany is leading the medal count of the XXII Olympic Winter Games by clear margin, the European race for the best content- innovations 2014 is yet to be decided. Starting today, the European Youth Award (EYA) once more takes the quest for high-impact ICT-solutions to 49 European countries. All young changemakers who have produced an outstanding digital project with social value are invited to participate.

This year, the competition is seeking and rewarding digital creativity in seven solution- oriented categories that address the goals defined by the Council of Europe and Europe 2020:

  • Healthy Life: fitness | nutrition | healthcare
  • Smart Learning: education | e-skills | open science
  • Connecting Cultures: arts | games | diversity
  • Go Green: energy | resource management | sustainability
  • Active Citizenship: free journalism | open government | social cohesion Money Matters: financial literacy | employment | smart consumerism
  • Future Living: e-mobility | urban development | sustainable tourism

A group of international experts from all branches of the Creative Industry, known as the Grand Jury, will evaluate all projects and select the most groundbreaking innovations in each category. The creators behind them will win a trip to the EYA Festival in Graz (November 19- 21), which has become an established platform for international knowledge-exchange and collaboration beyond borders. Together with socially-engaged ICT experts, business leaders and other creative minds they will look for new ways to employ the tools provided by the Internet and mobile technology for common good, and lay the foundation for future cooperation.

The competition is already open and all young social entrepreneurs under 30 (born after January 1, 1984) from the member states of the Council of Europe, Kosovo and Belarus are invited to participate. Until July 1, they can submit their projects via eu-youthaward.org.

As numerous success stories from previous EYA winners show, taking part in the competition is worth the effort. Most definitely, EYA gave me a wider and bigger network which is vital for my project, says Jeroen van Loon, who was awarded for his interactive multimedia project Life Needs Internet in 2012. Since then he has been invited to exhibit it in Krakow, Warsaw and Amsterdam, joined a UNESCO conference in France and was even had the opportunity give a TEDtalk in the Netherlands.