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SIKE – Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange: Social innovation in the Basque Country and Portugal

Between March 11th and March 15th 2019, members of the project SIKE (Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange) visited their Iberian partners to gain insight into social innovation initiatives located in Bilbao, Lisbon and Aveiro. The sfs-scientists Dmitri Domanski and Sabrina Janz attended the site visit.

Foto SIKE Deusto_sfs

The SIKE project was initiated in 2018 by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and aims at strengthening regional social innovation ecosystems in Croatia, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. The project demonstrates the potential of Higher Education Institutions to positively affect social change and innovative processes by knowledge transfer with practitioners from other societal sectors. For that purpose, one Higher Education Institution in every participating country works together with a non-academic partner organisation in the field of social innovation.

During the time from March 11th to March 15th, the consortium had the possibility to get to know some of the social innovation initiatives in the region, such as MEDEA (Master Degree in Management and the Economics of Energy and the Environment), KOOPERA in Bilbao, A Avó Veio Trabalhar, Refood, IRIS or the Design Factory Aveiro of the PCI – Creative Science Park.

On March 13th, the University of Aveiro in cooperation with Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon hosted an event in Lisbon at Casa do Impacto with the title “The future of social innovation – strengthening the ecosystems through knowledge alliances”, which was attended by the project partners of SIKE and other persons related to the topic of social innovation. Rose Cawood of Glasgow Caledonian University presented the main objectives of SIKE and thereby gave participants of the event an idea of the project’s activities. In the second half of the event, Dmitri Domanski attended a debate in which he, among other experts in the field of social innovation, discussed how greater social impact could be achieved by social innovators and entrepreneurs through cross-sectoral knowledge exchange.