If you have an idea for a social innovation addressed to people with special needs that solves problems related to the lack of sufficient accessibility of public space, please contact us.

Accessibility – what is it?

Imagine you want to read a book, and although getting to the library isn’t impossible for you, accessing the content of the publication is. Or another situation – you can’t watch your favorite programs because no one has translated the broadcasts into sign language. Similar examples of lack of accessibility to products or services for people with special needs can be multiplied.

As you can probably guess, accessibility is simply a characteristic of products, services, and space that makes the world around us accessible to everyone.

Why is accessibility so important?

Improving the accessibility of space – physical, digital, communicational, or services and products – in Poland is happening too slowly. Additionally, according to Eurostat data, Poland is one of the fastest aging countries in the EU. However, the problem of accessibility to space is not only faced by seniors.

Thinking of others

The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy states that even 30% of the population may have permanent or temporary limitations in mobility or perception (e.g., people using crutches, canes, walking frames, artificial limbs, wheelchairs), those wit hearing or vision impairments, with manual or cognitive difficulties (e.g., after a stroke, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease), pregnant women, people with prams, heavy luggage, as well as physically weaker individuals having difficulty moving, etc.

In response to this situation, on July 17, 2018, Polish Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on the establishment of the government Programme Accessibility Plus 2018-2025. Its assumptions aim to improve the quality of life and ensure independence for the groups mentioned above.

What is innovation?

Innovation – a term derrived from many areas – has become popular among foundations, associations, organizations, and activists for a reason. Innovative ideas and creative actions allow us to go beyond established patterns and look at social problems in a completely different way. Innovation can involve creating and testing new solutions, as well as improving and optimizing the existing ones.

What can your innovation be about? For example:

  • manufactured products,
  • modifying work methods to be more efficient,
  • creating new connections between existing solutions,
  • shaping new services, jobs and models of support resulting from ongoing social changes.

Project objective

The project objective is the implementation process (incubation) of 35 innovative ideas and the development (acceleration) of 8 innovative prototypes from across Poland. We aim at solutions that address the problem of LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY to infrastructure, products, or services for people with special needs.

A minimum of 20% of new ideas and 50% of developed solutions will be prepared for implementation on a large scale by December 2028.

Project duration: January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2028

Project value: PLN 9,981,565.00
Grant value: PLN 9,981,565.00

The project contributes to achieving specific goals of the EFS+.

We provide support in the form of advisory, coaching, creation of final solutions, and their popularization. Such actions contribute to the achievement of the European Fund for Social Development for 2021-2027 goals. As a result, we also influence the improvement of accessibility to services (in accordance with specific objective ESO4.11).

As a result of the project implementation, we will select 8 solutions for further development. Innovations – implemented and applied in practice – have the opportunity to permanently change reality, i.e. contribute to universal design of infrastructure, products, and services for people with special needs, etc.

What are specific goals of the EFS+?

As mentioned, your innovation should contribute to achieving specific goals of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). You’re probably wondering what that actually means.

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is the main instrument of the European Union (EU) that helps invest in people. Its budget for the years 2021-2027 is planned at nearly 99.3 billion euros. With such resources, the ESF+ is intended to support EU social policy, as well as the policy in the field of employment, education, and skills development.

Your innovation aligns with specific goals of the EFS+ if it involves:

  • improving access to employment for all job seekers (especially young people, the long-term unemployed, and the professionally inactive),
  • changes in labor market institutions to ensure that the assistance they provide is tailored to the needs of both the market and job seekers,
  • supporting women’s participation in the labor market, better work-life balance, including access to childcare,
  • a healthy and well-adapted work environment that addresses health risks,
  • adaptation of workers, businesses, and entrepreneurs to changes as well as active and healthy aging,
  • improving the quality and relevance of education systems that support the acquisition of digital skills,
  • supporting access to quality education that promotes social inclusion (e.g., early childhood education and care, vocational education, higher education, training, adult education, and learning),
  • supporting lifelong learning, particularly flexible opportunities for skill improvement and qualification changes for all (including digital skills, as well as facilitating career changes and promoting occupational mobility),
  • supporting active social inclusion – promoting equal opportunities, active participation, and increasing employment opportunities,
  • supporting the socio-economic integration of third-country nationals (apart from the EU) and marginalized community groups, such as the Roma and Tatars,
  • supporting the social integration of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, including children,
  • combating situations where individuals cannot meet basic needs (food assistance or basic material assistance to those most depriveded).

Who can you create the innovation for?

  • People with disabilities (remember that a disability certificate is not required).

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Disability means a permanent or temporary inability to fulfill social roles due to a permanent or long-term impairment of bodily functions, especially causing an inability to work.

  • Older people with limited mobility or perception (remember that the age of an older person is not defined, and there are no rigid definitions regarding mobility or perception limitations).
  • People who have limitations in independent functioning in everyday life and limited opportunities to use public/other universal services.
  • Institutions providing public services, including public institutions, non-governmental organizations and private sector entities working for people with disabilities and older people, their caregivers, families and other entities interested in using innovations.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for creative minds, social activists who want ”something more”, creative personalities who can’t sit still.

We want to help everyone whose innovative ideas will improve the quality of everyday functioning of people with disabilities, as well as older people with limitations in mobility and perception.

What ideas are important? For example, making it easier to buy products, go to the cinema or theater, use or health care services, as well as electronic media.

You already know what you want to do – that’s great! Our experts will support you in many areas, and the grant will help you achieve your goals.

We help individuals, informal groups, various organizations and institutions (non-governmental, private and public).

What solutions are we looking for?

We are seeking innovative solutions or tools on a micro scale that may involve, e.g. changing the characteristics of a product offered on the market, organizing a space or the form of service provision, or managing an institution in a way that ensures greater responsiveness to the needs of people with special needs.

We are particularly interested in ideas with significant potential that can be applied on a larger scale. It’s important that the solution is not limited to a single service, product, or entity, but can also be used within other activities.

What exactly does this mean? Your innovation should be applicable:

  • in another problem area,
  • in another place,
  • at another time.

For example: in a different voivodeship, city, in another hospital department, in a different facility, in a group of people with different needs/preferences, and/or not be limited temporally.

Your idea:

  • should be innovative on a nationwide scale,
  • may be an adaptation of a foreign idea,
  • should be discussed with people for whom this innovation is intended,
  • cannot replicate standard forms of support already offered within:

– Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development 2014-2020,

– Regional Operational Programmes 2014-2020,

– Operational Programme Human Capital 2007-2013,

– Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development 2014-2020.

Remember not to develop a social innovation in isolation from reality. Consider the needs and opinions of the people for whom this innovation is intended. They will be involved in its testing and mainstreaming.

Project step by step

You submit your idea

  • Choose one of the five application calls in the competition mode.
  • Subject your idea to a three-stage evaluation.
  • Wait for the decision to grant funding.

You have the grant, what’s next?

  • We establish rules for cooperationbetween the incubator and the innovator.
  • You benefit from expert support.
  • We develop the innovation specification.
  • We sign a contract.

We prepare you for the implementation of your idea

  • You participate in workshops.
  • You test the innovation on a micro scale.
  • You subject your idea to evaluation.
  • We’ve got it! Your solution is a hit.

Your idea reaches a wider audience

  • You participate in specialized conferences.
  • You have access to modern informational brochures.
  • You engage in effective networking – you build your contact network.
  • You attend trade fairs and industry events.
  • Through promotional videos and media, your idea gains publicity.

What do we offer?


  • up to PLN 100,000 of funding,
  • non-refundable grant for project development.

Up to 12 months of advisory support:

  • workshops during preparation and testing,
  • regular consultations with experts,
  • presentation workshops,
  • specialized consultations,
  • coaching.


  • conferences,
  • modern informational brochures,
  • networking – building contact networks during meetings,
  • interesting films,
  • media engagement.