Social Impact is permeating most EU programs, as well as those dedicated to innovation ecosystems, as clarified by the Work Program 2021-2022 European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE).
And the engines are warmed up for the new Horizon calls with these characteristics.The initiative aims to have a lasting spill-over effect by bringing attention to the benefits of social innovation projects to the society as a whole, and to strategic priorities and objectives of the Commission in particular.
The expected results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
– Active participation of social innovation actors in innovation ecosystems, by ensuring their interlinking and connection with all other actors, including the SMEs and start-ups, accelerators and business incubators, industry, investors, philanthropy societies and the public sector, with the aim to ensure access to their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills required to run successful projects;
– Wider access to alternative means of financing social innovations achieved by promoting its impact and mobilising a broad range of partners;
– Tested innovation models with potential of scaling up and replicability, and that are available for widespread use, possibly through the policy actions.
The scope of the programme targets social innovation actors/social entrepreneurs , SMEs, start-ups, accelerators and business incubators, investors, industry, foundations and philanthropy societies, universities and RTOs public-owned enterprises.
The proposals should focus on the transfer of knowledge and building capacities among the innovation actors (including universities, accelerators and incubators, networks of start-ups), so that they would be better equipped to work with the social entrepreneurs; the creation and/or connection of social innovation hubs/centres of excellence; integration of social innovation dimension to existing tech-oriented hubs;the detection of possible innovation models with potential of scaling and replicability at national, regional, and local level; the creation or utilization of the already existing open platform that use digital technologies to connect a global network of social entrepreneurs to promote the best practices, alternative financing opportunities and improve their skills.