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Winners of the 2024 EU Prize for Citizen Science

Today, the winners of the EU 2024 Prize for Citizen Science were announced. Citizen science – the general public engagement in scientific research activities – contributes to a vibrant civil society and is getting increasingly popular with Europeans.

Out of the 288 applications, three citizen science initiatives received the main prizes and 27 were recognised with honorary mentions. 

The winners are:

  • The ‘Grand Prize’, worth €60,000, goes to the EU-funded INCREASE  project for its outstanding achievements in advancing knowledge on seed preservation through the empowerment of civil society and citizens, in particular from rural areas.
  • The Digital Communities prize, worth €20,000, is given to the Horizon 2020 project CoAct for Mental Health for its use of digital technologies to develop a personalised approach and improve the quality of life for people facing mental health problems.
  • The Diversity & Collaboration prize, worth €20,000, is given to SeaPaCS_Participatory Citizen Science against Marine Pollution for producing transformative knowledge that filled the existing cognitive and emotional gap between society and the sea.

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

“I warmly congratulate the winners of this year’s EU Citizen Science Award, but would also like to commend all participants. Your initiatives address some of our most pressing challenges and showcase the transformative potential of citizen science. They improve the excellence and impact of our research, and also deepen the relationship and trust between science and our societies.”

The winners have been selected by an independent jury of five experts. Two of the three winners of the main prizes are projects funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s previous research and innovation programme (2014-2020). The third winner involves both a former and a current Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellow.


General public engagement in scientific research activities contributes to a vibrant civil society. Horizon Europe promotes co-creation and co-design through the engagement of citizens and civil society. Opening the research system towards society is one of its programme principles and operational objectives. They have the potential to improve the excellence and impact of our research, and to deepen the relationship – and trust – between science and our societies.

This is the second edition of the EU Prize for Citizens Science to provide recognition to outstanding citizen science initiatives that enact change, expand knowledge, and address social, political, cultural, and environmental challenges through the involvement of citizens in research and innovation. The Prize was launched and is awarded by the Horizon Europe project IMPETUS, as part of its work to support and give recognition to citizen science. For this edition, the Award received 288 applications from 49 countries. A third edition of the Prize is expected to be launched in January 2025.



The project engages citizens, including farmers, through a dedicated application for data collection and seed exchange. 5,000 participants of different backgrounds, ages, and genders, from across Europe are participating in the project’s 2024 beans preservation campaign. They grow different seeds in their fields, gardens or terraces and document their growth and plant traits through an application.

INCREASE, which is funded under Horizon 2020, has made the colossal challenge to preserve over 1,000 varieties of beans possible. Most of these beans are not commonly cultivated nor consumed. For the jury “the project exemplifies excellence in research that embraces Citizen Science,” empowering communities to regain control of their agricultural heritage.


People experiencing mental health problems and their families were co-researchers and co-creators in this project: In total, 32 people shared their lived experiences and interactions with their social support networks (family, friends, workmates, neighbours) in a chatbot. They came up with 14 policy recommendations, published in the form of European and local policy briefs, that can become a guide for avoiding social exclusion, and improving the well-being and recovery of people under treatment.

For the jury, “this project allows citizens to play an active role in research that directly impacts their lives and harnesses the power of technology to include marginalized voices as active participants in the transformation of mental health care.


SeaPaCS explores the consequences of marine plastic pollution on local biodiversity via a participatory citizen science process in the coastal city of Anzio, Italy.

It engages more than 250 fishermen, North African migrants, students, teachers, sailors, video makers, photographers, and marine lawyers in co-producing knowledge about the health of the Mediterranean Sea. The project contributes to scientific fields like oceanography, cultural geography, and marine chemistry. This helped, in building marine plastic recycling stations, for example. For the jury, the project “demonstrates how we can involve citizens not just in mapping problems but also in taking collective action towards restoring biodiversity and ecological resilience in European oceans, with attention to social inclusion and cultural diversity.”


More information

Announcement of the 2024 EU Prize for Citizens Science’s winners

2024 EU Prize for Citizens Science’s winners and honorary mentions


Press contact:

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation

Link:, dated June 13, 2024 3:52 pm

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