Social Innovation

Eshtablishment of Competence Center for Social Innovation

On 14.05.2021, NFCS started operations in a two-year project of an international consortium supported by 80% of the European Union’s European Social Fund+.

Germany was the leading partner of the consortium, which was called The European Social Innovation Alliance (ESIA) , and the other partners were the United Kingdom, Poland and Denmark. In Estonia, the network of partners of the competence center project included Tallinn University, Võrumaa Development Center, Estonian Social Enterprises Network, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Within the framework of the project, Estonia create a competence center for social innovation, in which NFCS took a coordinating role by creating a social innovation infrastructure framework, consisting of a network of local partners – which included policy makers, experts and practitioners in the field of social innovation.

The project had three main goals:

  • development of the social innovation ecosystem in Estonia.
  • Introducing Estonian social innovation methods to partner countries and potentially other EU member states.
  • Getting to know the best practices in the field of social innovation in partner countries and learning from their experience.
  • In the course of the project, workshops, trainings, seminars, events and meetings are held for interest and target groups, including foundations and companies, start-ups and social enterprises, local governments and state institutions, as well as policy makers, financial institutions, potential investors and service providers.

Recent studies of the national social innovation ecosystem are analysed, specific political recommendations are drawn up as input for the design of the social innovation strategy, and the creation of the national strategy is also managed. In addition, information is provided via the website and a regular newsletter is sent.

The project was one of six projects supported by the European Commission, which aimed to create national competence centers for social innovation across the European Union. During two years (May 2021-May 2023), organizations related to social innovation, research centers, European Social Fund+ management institutions and other partners designed and developed competence centers that can helped their countries to promote social innovation, including through the financing of ESF+ and other EU programs. There was an overview website and project fact sheets about the program. Additional information about the entire project can be found on this website.

The European Social Innovation Alliance (ESIA) was a European network of 26 partner organisations from Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom supporting and learning from each other in establishing national competence centres and working towards a pan-European social innovation infrastructure on all levels – locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally. Funded in part through the European Social Fund (ESF) and the EU programme for Employment and Social Innvation (EaSI), 148 organisations in 25 countries were at work to enhance the conditions for the development of Social Innovation.