The German SIKE unit supports the further development of the social innovation ecosystem in the Ruhr area. Therefore, we are building relationships with other initiates as Labs, Transfer Centres, and Entrepreneurship Centres in order to work together and learn from each other. We are working closely with the Centre of Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) of TU Dortmund University. The strategy of the SIKE Unit helps CET to include social innovation into their entrepreneurial approach. CET is well experienced in supporting entrepreneurs and is located centrally on the campus, which gives the SIKE Unit a more exposed and better accessible location within the University. 

2021 update:

  • The EVOLVE Competition was launched. Social Impact Berlin was primarily concerned with informing young social start-ups about the competition and advertising it via various social media channels.
  • Two virtual SIKE Unit workshops have been held in January 2021. The focus was on start-ups, social entrepreneurship and social innovation and particularly on the topic of “founding a social startup”. The SIKE workshop was organised and carried out by the Social Research Centre and Social Impact Berlin in cooperation with the Innovation Lab-Bochum of the transfer network. The cooperation between the German SIKE partners and the Innovation Lab Bochum was therefore intensified and new synergies were created.

Goals and topics of the German SIKE Unit Workshops have been:

  • Transfer and Scaling
  • Democracy
  • Exchange Forum
  • Financing and funding
  • Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

The Unit

Our institute, the Social Research Centre (sfs) of TU Dortmund University, is not based on the campus. The SIKE Unit is located within sfs and provides space for meetings, collaboration processes and workshops. Bigger workshops took place in the Impact Hub, where the Case Beyond Divides belongs to and will take place on the campus at CET. 

Due to the Covid-19 situation, two SIKE workshops were held online. Other SIKE activities, such as consulting and collaboration processes, were also adapted to online formats. 

The Centre for Entrepreneurship & Transfer

The university´s Centre for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) provides hands-on support to members who want to start their own businesses; evaluate, register and exploit inventions and patents; enter into corporate partnerships; or build their entrepreneurial skills. Its objective is to support start-ups and young businesses, foster a culture that encourages inventions and patents, and share knowledge and technologies between TU Dortmund University, the corporate world and society. 

The Cases

The two German cases are Innovation-Lab Bochum and Beyond Divides. 

The Innovation-Labs Bochum focus on the topics of disability and diversity. Main topics are to tackle the challenge of inclusion of people with disabilities and people with a refugee background. By providing support and transfer, the Labs wants 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 Ruhr 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. Two pilot projects evolved from the initiative, which ended in April 2020.

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