Accessibility Innovation Prize

The Contentsquare Foundation’s Accessibility Innovation Prize is an initiative that aims to recognize and support innovative digital accessibility or assistive technology solutions that make a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

  • Competition opens: Monday 22 July 2024
  • Competition closes: Monday 30 September 2024

In partnership with:
L'Oréal Microsoft Skyscanner

  • What is the Prize?

    The Accessibility Innovation Prize is a new award designed to celebrate and promote innovations in the field of digital accessibility or assistive technologies. The winner will receive:

    • A cash prize of 10,000 euros from the Contentsquare Foundation
    • Expert mentoring from accessibility experts and professionals, namely,
      • Microsoft: 8 hours of support from renowned experts in the fields of innovation, AI, digital accessibility, R&D, and the opportunity to visit the Microsoft Paris campus.
      • L’Oréal: 8 hours of support from renowned experts in the field of Open Innovation and Digital Accessibility.
      • Skyscanner: 8 hours of support from renowned experts in the field of Digital Accessibility and Innovation.
    • Visibility: An opportunity to showcase their innovation, alongside media coverage

    For the full list of scope, eligibility criteria, and submission requirements, please go to the submission criteria tab.

  • Who Can Apply?

    We invite applications from entrepreneurs, foundations, associations, startups, or corporations* (that have been established for less than 3 years*) in Europe or the United Kingdom who have developed an innovative solution in the realm of digital accessibility or assistive technology. Applicants should be able to demonstrate the impact and feasibility of their solution. All applicants must have some form of established legal structure or registration, even as an individual.

    For the full list of scope, eligibility criteria, and submission requirements, please go to the submission criteria tab.

  • Submission Criteria & Requirements

    To ensure that the Accessibility Innovation Prize attracts high-quality and impactful submissions, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Geographical Location: Applicants must be based in Europe or the United Kingdom
    • Type of Applicant: The prize is open to individuals, foundations, associations/NGOs, startups, and companies** (that have been present for less than 3 years**). All applicants must have some form of established legal structure or registration to facilitate receiving the prize.
    • Innovation Focus: Submissions must focus on digital accessibility or assistive technology solutions. Applicants should be able to demonstrate the impact and feasibility of their solution.
      1. Digital Accessibility Tools: Software or platforms that enhance the accessibility of digital content for individuals with disabilities.
      2. Assistive Technologies: Devices or applications that aid individuals with disabilities in navigating digital environments or everyday tasks.
      3. Inclusive Design Innovations: Projects or initiatives that incorporate universal design principles to create more inclusive digital experiences.
      4. Educational Tools and Resources: Innovative tools or resources that educate and raise awareness about digital accessibility and inclusivity.
    • Development Stage: Innovations at the early implementation, or middle or late stages of development, beyond the initial ideation phase, are welcome. This includes prototyping and market-ready solutions.

    Submission Requirements:

    1. Executive Summary: A brief overview of the innovation, including its purpose, target audience, and key benefits (500 words maximum).
    2. Detailed Description: A comprehensive description of the innovation, covering the following aspects (2,000 words maximum):
      • Problem Statement: Identify the specific accessibility issue being addressed.
      • Solution Description: Explain the solution in detail, including how it works and its unique features, and what differentiates it from competitors.
      • Market Analysis: An analysis of the market need for the innovation, including potential competitors and market size
      • Impact: Describe the expected or demonstrated impact of the solution on individuals with disabilities.
      • Scalability: Discuss the potential for the solution to be scaled and adopted widely, including any next steps.
      • Team Information: Information about the team behind the innovation, including relevant qualifications and experience.
    3. Development Stage Description (Based on your current stage of development, please provide any relevant supporting documents):
      • Early Implementation Phase: Provide any initial designs, proof of concept, or feasibility studies that demonstrate the viability of the solution.
      • Prototyping Phase: Provide any working prototypes, mock-ups, demo, or preliminary testing results.
      • Market-Ready Phase: Include detailed technical documentation, user feedback, and market analysis. This should also encompass user testing and feedback to increase the credibility of the foundation.
    4. Video Pitch: A video (3 to 5 minutes) talking about you, your innovation, and your next steps (i.e. development, deployment, scaling, etc.).

    We aim to create an inclusive platform that encourages participation from both seasoned innovators and newcomers at later stages of development (beyond ideation), ensuring that all promising ideas and solutions have the opportunity to be recognized and supported through the Accessibility Innovation Prize.

    By adhering to these submission criteria, applicants will provide a comprehensive view of their innovation, enabling the judging panel to make informed decisions in selecting the most promising and impactful solutions for the Accessibility Innovation Prize.

  • The jury of experts includes

    • Philippe Trotin
      Director of Accessibility, Microsoft France

    • Heather Hephburn
      Head of Accessibility, Skyscanner

    • Anthony Babkine
      Co-Founder, Diversidays

    • Marion Ranvier
      Executive Director, Contentsquare Foundation

  • Timeline

    • Monday 22 July 2024 Competition opens.
    • Monday 30 September 2024 (12pm CET) Competition closes.
    • October to November 2024 Jury reviews and shortlists candidates. Shortlisted candidates may be contacted for final interview.
    • December 2024 Applicants notified.

    For any questions, please contact foundation@contentsquare.com

  • Terms and Conditions for the Accessibility Innovation Prize

    1. General Terms and Conditions
      1. Eligibility
        1. The Accessibility Innovation Prize (the "Prize") is open to individuals, nonprofits/associations, startups, foundations and established companies (for less than 3 years) based in Europe or the United Kingdom.
        2. Innovations must be beyond the ideation phase and in the early implementation, or middle and late stages of development, including prototyping or market-ready solutions.
      2. Application Requirements
        1. Each applicant (the “Applicant”) must submit detailed project proposals through the respective submission form, including the problem statement, solution description, impact analysis, scalability plan, and current development stage.
    2. Intellectual Property (IP) Rights
      1. IP Ownership
        1. Subject to limited rights expressly granted hereunder, each Applicant reserves all right, title, and interests in its intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to, all copyrights, patents, services marks, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, whether registered or not) which shall remain the sole and exclusive property of the Applicant.
        2. The Contentsquare Foundation reserves all right, title, and interests in its intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to, all copyrights, patents, services marks, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, whether registered or not), which shall remain its sole and exclusive property.
      2. Licensing
        1. By submitting an application, the Applicant grants the Foundation a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, display, and promote their submissions for purposes related to the Prize. Each Applicant will be notified before any promotional use.
      3. Confidentiality
        1. All proprietary information provided in the submissions will be kept confidential and used solely for evaluation purposes.
    3. Financial Distribution
      1. Award Amount
        1. The winner will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros from The Contentsquare Foundation.
      2. Disbursement Process
        1. The prize money will be transferred within forty-five (45) business days of announcing the winner, pending the completion of necessary legal and financial documentation.
        2. Please note that the prize amount will be provided in Euros. Any bank fees or transfer charges will be deducted from the overall prize amount, and the Contentsquare Foundation will not be liable for any reduction in the prize amount due to such fees or to any foreign exchange rate applicable.
      3. Tax Liabilities
        1. Any tax liabilities arising from the receipt of the prize will be the responsibility of the winner.
    4. Mentoring and Support
      1. Mentoring Program
        1. The winner will receive mentoring from accessibility experts and industry professionals, equivalent to 20 hours of mentorship over the course of the 2025 year, with a possibility to extend into the upcoming 2026 year. These meeting dates will be agreed upon and set with the winner once selected. The mentorship meetings will take place online, unless otherwise agreed upon.
      2. Additional Resources
        1. The winner will be invited to Microsoft campus offices in Paris, France for an immersive full or half-day mentorship session, in addition to online sessions. During this visit, the winner will receive hands-on guidance and support from Microsoft experts to further refine and develop their innovations. Please note that this visit is optional, and thus, the winner will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation costs.
      3. Visibility and Promotion
        1. The Foundation and its partners will promote the winner and their innovation throughout the year. This includes features on our website, social media campaigns, and potential coverage in media outlets. Please note that the winner should be comfortable with media promotion and public visibility as part of their participation in the prize.
    5. Reporting and Accountability
      1. Progress Updates
        1. The winner will be subject to two short progress reports (equivalent to 500 words) or progress calls halfway through the funding period and at the end to update the Contentsquare Foundation on the development and impact of their innovation. These dates will be agreed upon and set with the winner once selected.
      2. Final Report
        1. A comprehensive report detailing the use of funds and the overall impact of the innovation will be required at the end of the funding period (end of 2025). This information is subject to be included in the Contentsquare Foundation’s annual progress report for accountability and transparency purposes.
    6. Publicity
      1. Announcement
        1. The winner will be announced publicly on December 3rd, International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
      2. Visibility and Promotion
        1. The Contentsquare Foundation and its partners will promote the winner and their innovation throughout the year. This includes features on our website, annual Foundation report, social media campaigns, and potential coverage in media outlets. Please note that the winner should be comfortable with media promotion and public visibility as part of their participation in the prize.
      3. Events
        1. The winner may be subject to present their innovation at a dedicated event hosted by the Contentsquare Foundation, providing additional exposure and networking opportunities.