Continuing annually since 2005, the Austrian Prize for Social Innovation, labelled "SozialMarie" has been granted on 1st of May in the RadiokulturHaus of the ORF (Austrian Broadcating Corporation) in Vienna. As ever, there was great public and media interest in the event. This year for the first time Austrian TV not only reported, but broadcasted a half-hour clipping of the whole ceremony (on 4 th of May, with a repetition on May 5).
In addition to the 15 Awards (selected from more than 230 applications by a pre-evaluation process and the Jury) which won a total of € 42.000 as prize money, for the first time also two Audience Awards were provided in the form of 3-minute promotion films to one project from Austria and one from Hungary; these were selected by online voting on the internet.
Applications are accepted by the awarding private foundation ("Unruhe Privatstiftung") from Austria, Hungary, large parts of the Czech Republic, Slovenia, parts of the Slovak Republic and of Croatia. Regional restriction in the latter countries is due to logistic reasons (in particular because of the distance to vist projects in the decision making process, and the necessity to employ somebody as native speaker and adminstrator for all the countries). However, SozialMarie has expanded to include Hungary as a whole during the last years, actually establishing an "Austro-Hungarian" award for social innovation. Internationalisation will go on, and most likely next year SozialMarie will be open to the whole of Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
For more information and the SozialMarie brochure, please follow the link to ZSI, where this item was originally posted.