The German SIKE unit tries to further develop the ecosystem of social innovation in the area. Therefore we are building relationship with other initiates as Labs, Transfer Centres, Entrepreneurship Centres in order to work together and learn from each other to support social innovation.

The Unit

The German SIKE unit will be based at the Social Research Centre, located at the University of Dortmund. The space will be used mainly for meetings and collaboration processes.


The two German cases are Innovation-Labs Bochum and Beyond divides.

The Innovation Labs Bochum focus on the topics disability and diversity. They are dealing with challenges regarding inclusion of people with disabilities and people with refugee background. By providing support and transfer, the Labs want to ensure social cohesion. Both Labs work closely with the departments of social work, education, diaconia, curative education and healthcare of the Protestant University of applied sciences Bochum.

Beyond divides belongs to the Impact Hub and supports social cohesion in four different regions in Europe (Bukarest, Istanbul, Madrid and Essen). The project aims at creating solutions to develop projects against exclusion and for better understanding within the communities.

Site visit

During the German site visit there was an event with different regional and international speakers about social innovation and knowledge exchange. Furthermore, there was a workshop to connect different stakeholders and exchange ideas about how they might work together in order to support social innovation. The KoSI-Lab Case was presented during the event and we visited the initiative Nordwärts, which is connected to KoSI-Lab. Participants also visited the PIKSL lab, that reduces digital barriers by offering inclusive workshops and that works a lot with different HEIs.

As part of the site visit there was an exchange with the people from PIKSL to learn how they benefit from the cooperation with HEIs and how they innovate business structures.

To read an in-depth report from this site visit, please see this article on ‘Exploring the social innovation landscape in Dortmund‘.