The ESF Social Innovation+ initiative facilitates the transfer and upscaling of innovative solutions to the societal challenges of today, notably in the fields of employment, education, skills and social inclusion.
ESF Social Innovation+ has a budget of €197 million to correspond to the 2021-2027 programming period.
The Lithuanian European Social Fund Agency (ESFA) has been entrusted to implement the initiative during the 2021-2027 period.
The initiative will be implemented through two work streams:
- Social innovation grant scheme
The initiative will launch EU-level calls for proposals. These will be aimed at supporting transnational projects that facilitate transfer and/ or scaling up of social innovations. This will include several types of action. Some projects will conceptualise and validate tested approaches, some will help to roll out validated models across Europe, others will help the social innovation support organisations to improve their capacities.
- European Competence Centres for Social Innovation
Under this initiative, a European Competence Centre for Social Innovation offers mutual learning, capacity building and networking activities for ESF+ Managing Authorities and other relevant stakeholders. This includes Communities of Practice on
- Employment, education and skills,
- Social inclusion
- Social Innovation
- Material Deprivation
Furthermore, the Centre supports the work of the ALMA network and the EURoma network.
The Centre will collect, assess, develop, validate and disseminate suitable tools and methods for social innovation- such as the European Social Innovation database. To this end the Centre will work in close cooperation with the National Competence Centres for Social Innovation.