A European Social Innovation Advisory Network in support of EU Mission Objectives (HORIZON-MISS-2024-CROSS-01-01)

  • Action type: HORIZON-CSA HORIZON Coordination and Support Actions
  • Opening date: 18 April 2024
  • Closing time: 25 September 2024 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 2 500 000 of total € 2 500 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 1
  • Official website


Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • Social innovation advances the EU Mission societal and environmental transition objectives;
  • The EU Missions embrace the potential of social innovation as means of achieving their objectives;
  • Social innovators and social entrepreneurs and funders of social innovation benefit from moderated learning and experience sharing and liaise better with projects and support activities in the EU Missions environment;
  • The project establishes the foundation for a networked fund targeting the scaling up of existing, demonstrably successful social innovations to advance the EU Missions.

This coordination and support action serves the EU Missions by

  • supporting the recognition of social innovation in the EU Missions;
  • identifying social innovations with the potential to advance the EU Missions;
  • identifying the social innovators and entrepreneurs to carry out the upscaling;
  • setting up a network and build the capacity of social innovators and entrepreneurs, and impact investors to advance the EU Missions by scaling up social innovations;
  • establishing a community of practice;
  • providing an interface between the EU Missions and the network to match the demand for and supply of social innovation solutions as well as social innovation investment;
  • enabling social innovators and social entrepreneurs to navigate the complex challenges of scaling up across complex public systems and markets better;
  • expanding the range of financial instruments and sources of support so that the innovations continue to scale, after the support provided;
  • establishing a framework for the implementation of a future research agenda to ensure that experience is gathered and learning, shared, building the profile of social innovation within and across the EU Mission fields;
  • identifying the most favourable national legal entity to support social innovation projects on a case-by-case basis.

Leveraging social innovation gives rise to solutions that prove more adapted to society, locally and regionally, as well as more robust. In a nutshell, social innovations are “innovations that are social in ends and means.” They materialize as new products, services, and models that simultaneously meet social needs more effectively than alternatives and create new social relationships or collaborations. Social innovation involves not only citizens, but also public authorities, business and industry, as well as academia in the design, development, and execution of innovations. It connects society and innovation. Social innovation is not only good for society, but also enhances society’s capacity to act. Social innovation engages and empowers citizens, results in a greater sense of agency, i.e. their ability to take action or to choose what action to take, and greater buy-in by citizens, industrialists, and public authorities, elicits active, democratic participation, enhances the resilience of communities, increases the relevance, acceptance, and uptake of innovation, and helps foster lasting changes in individual behaviours, social practices, and governance models. In short, social innovation acts as a system changer.

As such, social innovation processes are relevant to all EU Missions mobilising additional stakeholders and stakeholder communities (like philanthropic funders and for- and with-impact investors) for the benefit of the Missions.

Applicants are also encouraged to build on relevant ongoing activities undertaken by the EU Missions such as Mission Platforms.

To help EU Missions achieve their objectives, the action should undertake the following activities:

  1. create and animate a network of entities interested in scaling up social innovations to advance the EU Missions as well as entities interested in investing in social innovation ventures, for the purpose of raising awareness and facilitating information exchange;
  2. create a favourable environment to upscale social innovation with the financial support of beneficiaries like entities interested in investing in such social innovation ventures;
  3. offer advisory services and mentoring for ‘social innovators’ wishing to expand the geographic scope of their activities within the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe or interested in taking up social innovation from abroad. Advisory and mentoring may go as far assisting the preparation of upscaling plans and investment proposals, and matchmaking with social innovation funders.

Applicants should propose convincing cooperation models with the relevant Commission services such as the EU Mission Secretariats to ensure that the project contributes to the objectives of the EU Missions. Applicants should ensure that they contribute comparable added-value to all EU Missions including through synergies between them. The project will have to document that it has done so.

Actions should envisage, as appropriate, cooperation with other ongoing and future social innovation projects funded under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe projects such as the ones related to the HORIZON-EIE-2022-CONNECT-01 Call entitled “Integration of social innovation actors in innovation ecosystems. For, inter-alia, cross-project co-operation, consultations and knowledge exchange, joint activities on crosscutting issues as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events, especially where they relate to Missions.

Applicants are encouraged to seek additional resources from public and private sources to ensure the continuation of the network beyond the project duration.

The Commission invites applicants to consult the Horizon 2020 European Social Catalyst Fund pilot


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