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 PIKSL and KoSI-Lab.

PIKSL is an organisation that reduces digital barriers and decreases complexity of everyday life by using competences of people with and without disabilities. PIKSL aims at creating collaborative learning and working spaces and also at making digital participation accessible for everyone.

The research project KoSI-Lab develops two municipal social innovation labs in the cities of Dortmund and Wuppertal, Germany. Urban social innovation labs are open institutions to support collaborative work on cities’ social, ecological and economic problems.

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‘.