1 Jul 2019 - 13:03 CET

Social Innovation Relay winners announced

For NN, being a good corporate citizen means we want to use our resources, expertise and reach to help society achieve long-term sustainable prosperity. An example is our partnership with non-profit organisation Junior Achievement Europe and the Social Innovation Relay (SIR). The SIR is part of the partnership between JA Europe and NN Group. We have partnered with JA Europe for the fifth year to empower young people to tackle societal challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. This year’s edition involved more than 10,000 students and more than 200 NN Group volunteers. 

The SIR is an innovative programme that teaches secondary school students’ essential skills. Participating in the SIR helps young people think like social entrepreneurs, teaching them relevant entrepreneurial skills such as goal orientation, resourcefulness and teamwork, which are relevant for their later career, whether they start their own business or work for an employer.

Over the past few months, national Social Innovation Relay (SIR) finals were held in Japan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia and Spain ahead of the international SIR final held on Friday, 27 June. The winning team from each country competed against each other with three student projects chosen as the overall winners of the 2019 Social Innovation Relay: So-Bikers from Bulgaria, Mon(k)ey$ from the Czech Republic and MNEMON from Greece. They presented the most innovative ideas with strong societal impact and market potential.

So-Bikers from Bulgaria

So-Bikers’ social project idea is to convert existing bicycles into solar-powered electric bicycles. The prototype made by the team can reach speeds of 45 km/h, and has a range of 25 km. Hybrid bicycles have many positive attributes: they facilitate easy movement in the city for a low price, and they contribute to a cleaner environment and a healthier lifestyle, while reducing traffic jams and air pollution.

Mon(k)ey$ from Czech Republic

Team Mon(k)ey$ came up with the idea of keychains and an app that could save pensioners’ lives. The keychain has a chip that includes information such as the owner’s name, health status and medications. In an emergency, ambulance staff could read the chip using an app and quickly gain access to valuable health information.

MNEMON from Greece

MNEMON’s idea is an electronic friend that supports people living with the early stages of dementia. The application, called STAY ON, ensures the patient’s personal data is available at all times, and has memory tests and tips to help facilitate daily errands, ensuring people with dementia enjoy a better quality of life. The team designed their idea in partnership with the Greek Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.

These  three teams will attend the first ever global JA Alumni Conference. Together with more than 400 JA alumni from over 40 countries, they will attend keynotes, workshops, panel discussions, start-up talks and networking sessions.