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Competence Centre
for Social Innovation in
the European Social Fund

On behalf of the Swedish ESF Council, Forum for Social Innovation Sweden is the Competence Centre for Social Innovation in the European Social Fund (ESF). As a competence center, we promote effective, sustainable and value-creating social innovations on work-related societal challenges, through knowledge development, tools, coaching and experience exchanges. The assignment is carried out in collaboration with the National Association of Coordination Agencies and the Partnership for Social Innovation in Region Örebro County. 

We support and exchange knowledge on social innovation with and between ESF-funded projects in ESF Programme Area E (social innovation). We also work on learning, evaluation, analysis and dissemination of social innovations,  as well as strengthening social innovation in the implementation of ESF+ in dialogue with  the Swedish ESF Council.. Finally, we promote the social innovation ecosystem in Sweden. 

As Competence Centre,  we carry out a variety of activities, ranging from process-supporting coalitions for co-creation with various actors in ESF-funded projects, to individual coaching of projects, national and transnational knowledge exchanges, meetings and an annual learning conference. We conduct cluster evaluations, a yearly analysis report and also develop knowledge materials, new models and tools for learning, evaluation and analysis. 

The purpose of the Competence Centre is to:

Support actions organised by the Competence Centre

1. Support and learning exchange for projects


To strengthen social innovation in ESF-funded projects, stakeholders need the opportunity to learn more about this area together. The purpose of this support action is to describe and strengthen the projects’ practical development of social innovations, with a focus on the causality of the societal challenge, cross-sectoral collaboration/co-creation, target group participation, the ecosystem of the projects/societal challenge, and sustainable results and effects. The aim is also to create synergies in the dissemination of the projects social innovations into practice and policy, and to link projects at national and European level. 

2. Analysis and learning for scaling and policy impact


In order to strengthen social innovation in the implementation of ESF+, project and programme interventions will be analysed and evaluated at an aggregated level within the framework of the competence centre. The aim is to create a knowledge base that can be used to strengthen innovation processes, create synergies between different actors and projects, as well as the dissemination and scaling up of working solutions. 

We do this through 

  • cluster evaluations of project lessons learnt and results 
  • development of a model for evaluation of social innovation 
  • aggregate analysis of the projects and programme lessons and results 
  • scientific advisory group for academic quality assurance 

3. Supporting the social innovation ecosystem 


To strengthen social innovation at societal and systemic level, actors in the social innovation ecosystem need to come together, exchange knowledge and experiences and be supported in their endeavours. 

We do this through 

  • dialogue meetings and reference group meetings to identify labour market related challenges and solutions, for ecosystem actors. 
  • learning exchanges on the financing of social innovations 
  • learning exchanges on regional social innovation platforms 
  • the annual conference Innovative solutions for an inclusive working life 

4. Strengthening social innovation in ESF+ 


The Competence Centre works in dialogue with the Swedish ESFCouncil on approaches to strengthen social innovation in the implementation of ESF+, specifically Program Area E, social innovation. This is done through the production of knowledge materials, learning exchanges and dialogue on social innovation.  


Anna Tengqvist, nationell samordnare MSI


Anna Tengqvist
040-665 70 34 

Tom Roodro, MSI, Malmö universitet

Project leader

Tom Roodro
072-085 60 51

Lotta Orban, projektledare och kommunikatör MSI


Lotta Orban
040-665 80 13