Social innovation is a vital aspect of our global society. This is why networking and collaboration are essential to share knowledge and implement changes faster. In the past seven months, SIRENE consortium members, led by coordinator SHINE 2Europe have successfully presented the project and initiated onboarding to the SIRENE Expert Hub which aims to gather experts from all spheres relevant to social innovation aspect of SIRENE. Not only we are looking for more experts to join our great network, but we are also focused on joining events that could shed more light on the need to cultivate new ecosystems. These ecosystems are to unite the social innovators, architects, environmentalists, policymakers, professors, doctors, entrepreneurs, community leaders and all those that can effectively contribute to making a real change in the domain of independent living, smart and healthy aging.
One of the first events where the SIRENE project was presented was at the Plenary session “Implementing SHAFE – knowledge, networks, and initiatives” in Coimbra, Portugal, in November 2022. During the event, João Apóstolo, Carina Dantas, Maddalena Illario, and Michele Calabro’ presented initiatives and networks that aim to develop knowledge related to Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments. They discussed the importance of developing evidence-based practices and the international network of collaborating centers for science extraction, synthesis, and implementation. Carina Dantas, coordinator of SHINE 2Europe, explained the SHAFE (Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments) network, the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly, and SIRENE as the Horizon Europe project meant to rely on these foundations in future work.
SIRENE was presented at the Workshop “Projects under the European Innovation Ecosystems Work Program in support of the New European Innovation Agenda.” The New European Innovation Agenda aims to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation and start-ups to address societal challenges and bring them to market. SIRENE’s participation in this workshop as well as the ones to follow highlight its contribution to fostering synergies between projects and support the growth of social innovation actors. In line with this commitment, SIRENE was also presented at II International Conference NOVA Health – Health Systems and Policies, focusing on the digital transition in health. The event brought together experts and stakeholders in the field of healthcare to discuss the impact of digital technologies on health systems and policies.
Focusing not only on a European scale but also regional and national, SIRENE project was also featured in the roundtable that opened the Portuguese Infoweek on Horizon Europe in Lisbon. The project highlighted the importance of social innovation in the transition to sustainable and eco-friendly community-based services. Another roundtable discussion took place in Portugal under the 37th EFPSA Congress. SIRENE was presented during the discussion on “Addressing the rising challenges: methodologies of citizen involvement and engagement” where SIRENE’s coordinator, Carina Dantas, as a speaker of the event the example of SIRENE, along with the overall policy framework of Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE) and NET4Age-Friendly, to highlight the importance of citizen empowerment approaches and the need for multiple stakeholders’ involvement in promoting policy change, as the first step towards transformative processes.
The cross collaboration not only with stakeholders and ecosystems, but also sister projects and initiatives is an essential part to make SIRENE project successful. The COST Connect event on Ageing in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities acted as an excellent platform for laying out the next collaborative action steps as the event brought together policymakers and experts from COST, EIT Health, and the European Commission, as well as experts from other relevant fields and other COST Action representatives.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning the recognition that the project has achieved so far. SIRENE was featured on the ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação’s website in Portugal. The website announced the approval of 19 projects out of a total of 76 applications in the CONNECT – Integration of social innovation actors’ line of incentives and SIRENE as the winner in this category, bringing together participants from Spain, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The project has been presented at various events, highlighting its contribution to social innovation, sustainability, and eco-friendliness. If you would like to join the SIRENE Project and be a part of the social innovation ecosystem, check out the SIRENE Expert Hub or register here. Let’s collaborate to create a more sustainable and innovative world!