SEED project

Seed – Social innovation ecosystem development (

Name of operation

Social Innovation ecosystem development

Purpose of the project

SEED is one of the six projects supported by the European Commission in order to establish national competence centres for social innovation across the EU. During two years (May 2021-May 2023) social innovation organisations, research centres, ESF managing authorities and other partners design and develop competence centres, which can help their countries to promote social innovation, including with funding from ESF+ and other EU programmes.



Main goals of the project

The specific objective of SEED is to stimulate and support the establishment of 4 Social Innovation Competence Centers in Italy, Greece, Romania and Slovenia, where researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and civil servants will work together to create public and open infrastructures capable to assist national ESF managing authorities to better employ the ESF+ funds for the mainstream of Social Innovation as Public Sector Innovation approach to societal challenges.

To achieve these objectives SEED, by taking into the account the priority needs of ESF managing authorities, will engage, build and connect social innovation actors from: ITALY, GREECE, SLOVENIA and ROMANIA with diversified ecosystems to design and implement SI competence centers based on 4 priorities/challenges for the whole consortium and for each country respectively.

The project started on May 2021 and will end on May 2023.

The methodology:

To guarantee the balance between the ESF national priorities and the collaborative approach between the consortium partners, SEED foresees to exploit a common methodology, with an approach based on local contexts and national priorities using an iterative process of understanding local needs and challenges.

The project will experiment the development of 3 pilots:

ITALIAN PILOT – Design Policy Lab for ESF national authorities to co-design a SI policy to be implemented in the next ESF Operational Programs

GREEK PILOT – Scale and adapt to 10 Greek cities 3 local projects of SI recognition and mapping

SLOVENIAN PILOT – Scale the Alpine Space Social innovation national project into a social innovation lab to support SI digital solutions in Slovenia and abroad


Lead partner: Torino City

Project partners:          

  • EURICSE, Trento, Italija
  • Fondazione Italia Sociale, Italija
  • Polytechnic University of Torino, Italija
  • University of Bologna, Italija
  • Polytechnic University of Milano, Italija
  • Fondazione Giaocomo Brodolini, Italija
  • Fonduru Structurale, Romunija
  • General directorate of Labour Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Grčija
  • Science for YOY NPC, Grčija
  • Kollektiva MAKE, Grčija
  • An.Ka Consortium, Grčija
  • Ministrstvo za gospodarski razvoj in tehnologijo, Slovenija
  • Hashnet d.o.o., Slovenija
  • Sončna zadruga, Slovenija
  • Center Noordung, Slovenija

Partners – Seed (



Project timeline – Seed (

1 – Ecosystem exploration:

The aim of this WP is to map and explore social innovation ecosystems in each country. Social Innovation as an approach to innovation is firmly based on the notion of context dependency as the condition that defines both the specific societal challenges to tackle as well as the developed solutions. The notion of SI ecosystem individualises the complex network of stakeholder, their interactions, resources and capacity to be exploited to face societal challenges. The activation of the SI ecosystems is then the first action to be taken for the establishment of the national competence centers. The literature review and desk research will cover the national territory, while a more indepth analysis to assess the collected practices will also be included. The analysis and mapping activities to be carried out in this WP lays the foundations upon which the subsequent WPs will be developed and it will provide the theoretical and conceptual framework for the Competence Center.
Specifically WP1 aims to:
– produce an in depth analysis of the national SI ecosystems;
– identify barriers and opportunities, best practices and case studies;
– establishing the National Advisory Boards in each country as representative of the national authority to be involved in the codesign of the national competence centers in WP2.


2 – Competence centers design and implementation:

The objective of WP2 is twofold: design the organisational model and structure as well as the main activities of the competence centers in each of the 4 countries based on the specificities of the national contexts, needs and gaps and; piloting three SI projects to operationalise the competence centers by testing the SEED tools and methodologies for the implementation of social innovation as complex codesign and co production process. The competence centre in each country will act as a reference point for the SI ecosystem and will be recognised by the key stakeholders in the country (e.g. policy makers and ESF MAs, social innovators, academia, social and economic organisations), and endorsed by the responsible national ESF Coordinating body.
The main objectives of WP 2 are:
– develop the SI competence centers on the basis of the national priorities (as individualised in section of of this document “Methodological approach suggested to the actions of competence centres in their own Member State”);
– implement 3 pilots one in Italy, one in Greece and one in Slovenia;
– design and deliver SEED methodologies and learning repository;

3 – Capacity building for SI mainstreaming:

This WP aims to support national ESF authorities to develop internally the competences to support the larger development of SI in their respective countries as a fundamental asset for a sustainable growth and to support them to mainstream social innovation in the national innovation ecosystems through developing efficient guidance to promoters and stakeholders for their engagement and an overall capacity building support. Specific objectives of the WP are:
– implement and deliver SI capacity building to tackle transversal learning needs of national managerial authority;
– to deliver capacity building for different audiences and multi-level government recipients, such as, for example a municipality, a region and a key promoter (e.g. a foundation) who we expect to play a key role in future collaborations for the implementation of social innovation practices in our country;
– develop a larger network of stakeholders to support SI competence centers to deliver the SEED capacity programme and beyond.

4 – Roadmap to a conducive environment for social innovation:

Specific objectives of this work package:
– develop an agenda for SI to be implemented together with national managerial authority to uptake SI in innovation strategies for each countries;
– develop a dissemination plan and implement it to raise awareness on SI the countries especially toward larger audience like entrepreneurs, citizens,
– elaborate a set of policy recommendations for each country to address some of the national barriers that prevent the full unfold of SI potentialities.


For more information, please reach out to us on email:

Seed – Social innovation ecosystem development (

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Author: tanja

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Sunday August 29th – changed opening ours

Dear visitor,   due to a closed event on Sunday 29.8. 2021 Center Noordung is open from 11 a.m., and the first guided tour (in Slovene language) will take place at 12.00 noon. Thanks for...