Glasgow Caledonian University is to join a million-euro partnership to promote social innovation in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The University has been awarded funding from the European Union programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) to set up a National Social Innovation Competence Centre for the UK.

GCU is part of a consortium of partners in the €1.8 million project, joining those from Germany, Estonia, Poland, Denmark and England, who will be setting up competence centres in their own countries. The funding was awarded based on one endorsement per EU country. GCU was endorsed by the Scottish Government as the lead partner for the UK.

The University will be working closely with local partners The Melting Pot, Challenges Worldwide, Community Enterprise in Scotland, Social Innovation Exchange, the Centre for Civic Innovation, and Firstport, among others, to develop the centre.

The project will work to promote social innovation in the UK; work with stakeholders to support the design, implementation and scaling up of social enterprise and innovations; and create networks and partnerships with other EU stakeholders to share learning and collaborate.

The project will begin in May and run for two years.

Director of the Research & Innovation Office, Mark Majewsky Anderson, said: “It is fantastic that GCU has been recognised and endorsed to represent the UK social innovation ecosystem and this aligns perfectly with the objectives of our 2030 strategy. This success is the culmination of our work in several projects forging an extensive network of partners at both a local and international level.”

This view was endorsed by Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, who said: “This prestigious project signposts and confirms GCU’s continued development as a major centre for social innovation research and capacity building based on our Common Good mission through which we seek to address the Sustainable Development Goals.”