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Press Release: SoTecIn Factory launches Open Call 1 for Social Innovators

Looking to fund & support sustainable tech-driven solutions from food, water & nutrients, textiles and plastics & packaging industry value chains 



The Open Call 1 will award  25 European tech-savvy innovators with up to 15,000 EUR in Phase 1. From this group, 15 innovators will engage in a pre-market technological demonstration with up to 85,000 EURof additional funding support in Phase 2.   


Besides equity-free funding, the beneficiaries will have  access to capacity building and business support through multiple resources and to the consortium’s in-depth expertise on circular business models, systemic change, social entrepreneurship, funding strategies and industrial value chains, to name but a few.  



Members of the civil society as entities legally established/resident in the European Union or Horizon Europe Associated Countries:

  • Individuals as part of a legal entity  
  • Single organisations Consortium  
  • (Individual/Single organisation + Challenge (owner)) 

 Target industry value chains: food, water & nutrients, textiles, plastics & packaging



 Potential Social Innovators can applyvia F6S platformuntil28September2023, 18h CET: 


By submitting the application form and corresponding proposal, the applicants are offering  their innovative, sustainable and tech-driven solutions as an answer to: 

  • circular challengesaligned withone of the project Missions 
  • orreal-life industry challenges ( either one of the previously selected 21 cases coming from private & public industry members a.k.a Challenge Ownersor brought by the social innovator and its’ challenge proponent)  

The proposals should address circular economy techniques a.k.a. Higher R strategies (ie. Refuse,  Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair,  Refurbish and Remanufacture) that the applicant’s tech solution will based on.



For more information, such as the Open Call Guide, go to: 


Join our Info Webinarsto learn more about the programme and the application process:  

 05 Sept 2023, 2pm CET: 

20 Sept 2023, 11am CET: 



Social and Technological Innovation Factory for Low-Carbon and Circular Industrial Value Chains – SoTecIn Factory is a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme. The consortium led by INESC TEC, and composed by 5 other European partners (F6S, bwcon, Impact Hub, Metabolic Ventures and CNR), teamed up to achieve their common mission for a more sustainable and resilient industry by connecting it to mission-based social innovators. Moreover, the project offers a 3.3 million EUR equity-free fund, capacity-building and business support to social innovations that improve the circularity of 4 out of 7 key product value chains, as defined by the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, by implementing higher value “Rs”, i.e., Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture. 


SoTecIn Factory incorporates a mission-oriented open social innovation process based on steward-ownership principles in its quest of sustainable industry transformation. The process convenes diverse actors centered around 7 Missions as general sustainable goals defined in 3 value chains (textiles, food, water & nutrients, plastics & packaging) across 7 economic regions, previously formulated with the help from Regional Hubs (hosted by the project partner Impact Hub (IH)and its local organisations: IH Amsterdam, IH Lisbon, IH Milano, IH Firenze, IH Munich/previously IH Hamburg, IH Budapest, IH Bucharest, IH Istanbul) and communities with both private and public industry players  engaging in a series of online meetings. Furthermore, the cross-border community continues to interact and spread circular research and news via Linkedin group called Innovative Minds: SoTecIn Factory Community. 


The process also involves the interaction between:  

  1. Challenge Owners, private and public industry actors (21 cases previously selected via Open Call in March 2023) that are facing  mission-based sustainability challenges within their organisations, 
  1. Social Innovators as members of the civil society which are proposing sustainable solutions and, 
  1.   Mission Councils, 7 groups counting 40+ industry experts  (previously selected during Open Call running from 12 December 2022 until 15 February 2023), acting as ‘guardians’ of sustainable missions, by overseeing the progression of the challenges by the challenge owners and solution providers – specifically, overseeing the development of the higher-R focused, early-stage enterprises, deployment of their solutions, and ensuring that the ventures stay focused on the overarching mission throughout the duration of the program. 




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