In view of the diverse landscape in terms of experience in promoting and scaling-up social innovation under the ESF, the high importance given to social innovation by the new Commission and the proposals for the future ESF+ Regulation, there is a need to empower social innovation initiatives and partnerships and boost the stakeholders’ capacity to act. Therefore, the objective of this call for proposals is to support the establishment, development and professionalism of organisations that do or can assume the function of a social innovation competence centre in an EU Member State. Their main functions would be:
Capacity building: to build capacities of key social innovation stakeholders, notably ESF Managing Authorities, funders and donors, intermediaries, social innovation initiatives and practitioners alike. This is to be pursued, by providing professional support services ranging from design and development to assessment, upscaling and mainstreaming of social innovations through effective public policies and actions, creating a conducive environment for social innovation in a Member State.
Transnational transfer of knowledge, know-how, and tools for the support to social innovation from ESF Managing Authorities, social innovation competence centres and social innovation stakeholders with a long-standing and deep experience, to organisations in Member States with a shorter and less developed or less comprehensive experience and competence in this field. Establishing a mentoring relationship between competence centres of both types of Member States will be instrumental in this respect.
Creation of synergies: to create further synergies between the EaSI Programme and the ESF, especially in view of designing, supporting, monitoring and mainstreaming innovative actions that could be extended, enlarged and/or replicated using ESF+ funding in subsequent years.
Networking: to network and cooperate with other selected competence centres, using mutual learning as well as by jointly developing, assessing, and optimising suitable tools and methods, and collecting and disseminating inspiring examples, models and practices.