Social Award 2016

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Again in 2016, the Social Award - promoted by Bank Austria in collaboration with UniCredit Foundation to facilitate local social inclusion projects - involved a call for tenders intended for each of the 9 regions of Austria. In 2016, an important addition was made to the Award formula. In fact, Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation decided to revise the Social Award model originally launched in 2010, creating a new special category “Social Innovation Award”, by integrating with the national competition of the same name promoted by the Bank and the Foundation from 2013 to 2015, to support social projects distinguished by innovation, area of action and methods proposed.

In previous UniCredit Foundation reports, the Social Innovation Award was detailed separately from the Social Award, in the section on Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation. Thanks to the merging and evolution of the two awards, Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation have confirmed their commitment to the local area and to promoting innovative solutions to respond to social problems identified with the assistance of experts and local stakeholders.

The new Social Award included a national call for tenders, launched in April 2016, which resulted in a total of 165 candidates from throughout the country (Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and Vienna).

After evaluation by the regional juries, composed of operators and experts from the non profit world, from local institutions and Bank Austria representatives, the three best projects in each region were selected, for a total of 27 proposals. The candidates were then involved in an online public vote (with Bank Austria employees, customers and stakeholders in general), in order to determine the regional classifications and distribute 27 grants (to the top 3 projects in each region) to other local non profit organisations for a total amount of €81,000. The online voting campaign lasted around two months and 17,645 votes were cast.

The Social Innovation Award, associated with an additional grant of €4,000, was assigned by the national jury based in Vienna to the most innovative project selected from the top 9 in each region. The winner was amigo@work (Upper Austria), which helps migrants to integrate into the community, offering various employment opportunities. 


Andrea Strohmayer, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bank Austria.

“In 2016 we awarded the most innovative project among all the Social Award Winners with an additional Innovation Award. By doing so we motivated the applicants to be more innovative and - hopefully - triggered original solutions to today’s social problems.”