The Portuguese SIKE unit will be anchored in the University of Aveiro, which is the SIKE unit’s academic partner. The unit will serve as a gate for all social innovation-related topics when these are approaching the university. It will have the purpose to support, learn and advise social projects/ organisations and institutions in need for it. The two Portuguese partners will work together on the cases and agendas addressed in the SIKE Unit.

The unit

The Portuguese SIKE unit is not operating as a physical space allocated in one location. Instead, it is an initiative which works as a shared ‘space’ or program but not a place’. The vision for this more mobile structure is to enable engagement and impact in different spaces of the university campus. But also to easier connect to events or within the community, accordingly to the need and context for its placement.


The Portuguese cases are Refood and Fava.

Refood is a movement that transformed into an organization that collects food surplus, separates it and distributes to the most needed. The Refood movement is scaling to a level where it is spread all over the country and even across borders.

Fava is a project that was born within the University of Aveiro Design for Social Innovation course, further developed into a Masters’ thesis and now in transition to the “Prototyping and pilots” phase, setting the needs for its implementation and support. It consists of a production and distribution service of sustainable healthy meals for the academic community of the University of Aveiro.

Site visit

The site visit in Portugal took place from 13-15th of March 2019.

The site visit took place in Lisbon on the first day and included a public event with a keynote address on knowledge transfer. The second day of the visit was organised to take place in Aveiro, with a showcase/presentation of the University of Aveiro and Fava case study, followed by a visit to Aveiro’s Refood centre. On the last day, a trip took place to Lousã, where the participants heard about the Microninho social incubator and some projects related to this.

For a write up of the site visit to Portugal, please see this article on ‘Diving into social innovation in the Basque country and Portugal‘.