More than 600 international participants from over 60 countries gathered in Graz for the 8th European Youth Award Festival (EYA) from November 27 to 30. The most promising digital solutions in Europe for improving society and living spaces were presented and the EYA Young Digital Champion (overall winner) was honoured in 2019: winning project LiGENCE from Lithuania halves the duration of cardiac ultrasound examinations with AI and deep learning.

The current challenges for Europe from political participation to the climate crisis to digitisation were the themes of the EYA Festival 2019, which covered the whole city: on Murinsel, Grazer Rathaus, FH JOANNEUM and in the Dom im Berg technological applications were presented that have a direct positive impact on individual life and society.

Socialbnb was honoured as the winning project in the category “sustainable economics”. Ten other winning projects from seven countries were presented at the EYA Festival: an eye-tracking solution to enable people with disabilities to communicate with the outside world from Germany,  a mobile citizen participation platform from Northern Macedonia; an interactive map for ideal tree plantations from Serbia; a digital programmable gadget to learn how to code young girls from Sweden; and an autobiographical computer game that shows the path of a Syrian refugee came from Austria.

“The festival serves young European change-makers of digital and social innovation to network and present their solutions to the burning questions and learn from each other,” explains EYA initiator Peter A. Bruck, the aim and purpose of the three-day EYA Festival.

The participants from all over Europe agree that they take up and solve problems from their immediate living environment. At the EYA Festival, they can further improve their digital projects with peer-to-peer feedback and bring their solutions to society and the market.

These winning projects are showcases of how digital technologies are smartly used to benefit people and improve society. The EYA projects also show the many possibilities to be active with technological solutions in the sense of the EU 2020 Strategy and the UN SDGs and to support social participation, climate protection and sustainable development.

Initiated in 2012 by Prof. Dr. Peter A. Bruck, Ph.D., honorary chairman of the International Center for New Media, the European Youth Award (EYA) is today a Europe-wide competition for young people, social entrepreneurs and start-up entrepreneurs who create digital projects with added value for society. It serves to motivate young people to contribute to the achievement of the Council of Europe objectives, the Europe 2020 Strategy and the SDGs and shows the potential of young Europeans to find innovative solutions with IT and mobile technologies for concrete problems. The competition is open to under 33-year-olds from Europe and the MENA region.