>Good session in Brussels

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At the roundtable “Innovation in Funding the third sector and social economy”, organised by Euclid Network (EN) and hosted at the European Parliament by Patrizia Toia MEP, around 30 people among European third sector leaders, MEPs and European officials, gathered together to productively and innovatively discuss the topic of funding for the third sector. Daria Serani, on behalf of Toia MEP, together with Filippo Addarii, Euclid Network, chaired the event.

Daria Serani underlined the importance of civil society and third sector, referring to European Parliament resolution on Social Economy (February 2009), better known as “Toia report”.“Promoting a culture of social innovation and sustainable funding in the third sector and better collaboration with European Institutions are the drivers for EN”, Filippo Addarii, Executive Director of Euclid Network, stressed. The financial crisis has confirmed the need for a new economic model in which the third sector is a leading force together with the other sectors. To rise up to the challenge the sector has to invest in its capacity and develop new income streams to tackle social problems. The EU has to recognized such a role and support it.

A good example of a good practice. The social Innovation Park.

Social leaders have a long tradition of collaborative projects but a business park fully dedicated to social innovation has never been experienced in Europe. The Social Innovation Park (SI Park) is a pioneering initiative promoted by DenokInn, the Basque Centre for Social and Corporate Innovation, aiming to provide the best environment for social leaders and institutions to cooperate, learn from each other and to build new initiatives.

The Social Innovation Park (SI Park) will host in the greater Bilbao area of Northern Spain consolidated third sector initiatives and emerging innovation projects aiming to create the new “Social Silicon Valley”. All of them will benefit from the new resources incorporated to this initiative: the Social Innovation Laboratory (G-Lab), the Social Innovation Academy and the Social Enterprise Generator. SI Park will offer international entities working on this field a unique opportunity to be present in one of the most innovative experiences connected to social enterprising.

The Social Innovation Park will start operating in June 2010, covering initially 72.000 squared meters, and more than 50 entities (NGOs, think tanks, living labs) and companies will be established. This project is supported by national and local authorities with an initial budget of 6 million Euros.

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