Social Innovation Award 2013 goes to “Über 7 Brücken” (Over 7 Bridges) project to strengthen mutual respect in Innsbruck

  • Bank Austria's Social Innovation Award was presented for the first time in the run-up to the Zero Project Conference during a gala in the UniCredit Centre at Kaiserwasser in Vienna
  • Bank Austria's Social Innovation Award comes with a prize of EUR 30,000

Through the Bank Austria Social Innovation Award presented for the first time in 2013, Bank Austria aims to make a decisive contribution to resolving social challenges. In 2013 in close collaboration with the city of Innsbruck it was all about developing ideas for a more stress-free and more respectful mutual interaction in the provincial capital of Tyrol. Bank Austria presented the Social Innovation Award at a gala with the Mayor of Innsbruck Christine Oppitz-Plörer and the Chairman of the UniCredit Foundation Maurizio Carrara to the innovative regional and social project "Over 7 Bridges" by sprachkabi.net WortKunst (www.sprachkabi.net).

Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria, emphasised that, "As one of the leading banks in Austria we are not only committed to business and financial success, we also bear a social responsibility for the people in our country. Bank Austria has long-standing traditions in dealing closely with charitable and social projects, and via the Social Innovation Award 2013 we would like to lay another benchmark – also in relation to our strong regional position. The UniCredit Foundation plays an important role here, and its support was instrumental in the birth of this award."

EUR 30,000 for WortKunst (word art) in an urban setting
Bearing the motto "No Barriers in our Minds", the project "Over 7 Bridges" seeks solutions for disadvantaged people who are increasingly confronted in their everyday lives with barriers, prejudices and discrimination by society. Project manager Wilfried Schatz wants to use the project to raise media awareness among the general public for fringe groups and "social misfits", such as school drop-outs, addicts or people living with disabilities. This will primarily involve digital projections, so-called WordArt presentations, of seven bridges over the Inn and Sill rivers in Innsbruck, drawing attention to the given fringe groups.
Using the funding from the award and in close collaboration with the city of Innsbruck, the project is to be implemented in the first half of 2014 in the provincial capital of Tyrol.

Raising awareness among people and stimulating the city of Innsbruck
"We hope that the active support of social activities will promote an atmosphere of understanding and solidarity in Tyrol", stressed Martin Anker, Head of Private Customers in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. "We express our thanks to the city of Innsbruck and Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer for their outstanding cooperation. Under the motto 'No Barriers in our Minds' we would like to make a collective contribution to dismantling prejudices and countering discrimination of all kinds and among all age-groups of the Innsbruck population."

What is important with this project is involving the customers of Bank Austria as much as possible, who can input their own concerns in various ways in the Innsbruck branches of Bank Austria. The bridge presentations will also alternate on display screens in the branches.

A high-calibre jury selected the winner from among many superb projects. The jury included Christian Moser, managing director of SOS Children's Village, Christine Oppitz-Plörer, Mayor of Innsbruck, and Georg Schärmer, Director of Caritas Innsbruck, and Martin Anker, Head of Private Customers in Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
E-Mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at