We’re thrilled to be kicking off a two-year project looking at SDG-driven innovation ecosystems, looking at what programmes exist, and what gaps still need to be addressed. Backed by a grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, partners in this project include IFIE (the Israel NAB), FAIR (French NAB), Social Impact Per L’Italia
(Italy NAB) and MAZE (Portuguese NAB).

After three months of mapping their local ecosystems, NABs are putting the final touches on their SDG Innovation country reports. We are eager to receive their submissions which will be used to compile a synthesis report of opportunities and barriers across all four countries. To fill in data gaps, they’ve held events with leading

stakeholders. Several of these events are detailed below. It’s great to see the project take shape and the breadth of energy and ideas being shared and exchanged.

FAIR (French NAB)

The NAB has engaged with a multiplicity of stakeholders in the social and technology innovation ecosystem, including 4 public actors, 2 researchers, 7 private sector actors, and 3 social sector organisations. 

At an event organised alongside “Mouvement Impact France”, a collective representing the actors of the social impact economy in France, the NAB convened a session called, Startup funding crisis: an opportunity for tech for good? Crise du financement des startups : une opportunité pour la tech for good?

Attendees met at Morning Auber, a co-working space in the center of Paris, to discuss the latest developments in tech financing and understand what initiatives could help advance a more impactful innovation ecosystem. 

Speakers included:

    • Eva SADOUN (co-founder of Lita, a fundraiser for social impact companies’ project);
    • Antoine MICHEL (Partner at Investir&+, long-term investment structure for social impact companies’)
    • Clara CHAPPAZ (Director of La French Tech, a network of start-ups bolstered by the government) 
    • Frédérick MAZZELLA (founder of BlablaCar, a car-sharing unicorn)
    • Olivier JEANNEL (founder of Roger Voice, application dedicated to help people who are hard of hearing have a phone conversation)

A questionnaire was shared among participants prior to the event to enrich the data collected for study. Around 30% of participants provided their thoughts on best practices and obstacles, as well as ideas for the French ecosystem.

 IFIE (Israeli NAB) 

IFIE hosted Israel’s NAB board for a full day workshop in Tel Aviv in December 2022, dedicated to outlining its 2030 impact economy and SDG driven vision for Israel. 30 professionals from Israel’s NAB board, including investors, consultants, ESG experts, policy makers, participated in this engagement event. 

The event addressed visions, challenges, and priorities for Israel’s social and technology innovation ecosystem through the lenses of: capital demand, capital supply, policy, impact measurement & awareness. IFIE is currently working on combining the insights and recommendations shared at  the event into a full strategy for the creation of an impact and SDG-oriented economy, which includes the following agendas: 

    1. how to support innovative tech ventures to increase their potential to address diverse SDGs; 
    2. how to shift more capital to invest in SDG-driven tech companies; and 
    3. how to create better cross sectoral partnerships to advance SDG tech innovation ecosystems. 

In November 2022, Israel’s AgriFood Week featured FoodTechIL drawing 1,700 attendees from Israel, Asia, Europe and America and organised a FoodTech Expo with over 75 Israeli startups. 

“We love being named as one of the 40 companies worldwide that is driving positive change and impact for good!” (It’s July, winner of the 2022 World Summit Award in Israel) 

As the national representative of the in Israel, IFIE had the exciting role of nominating SDG focused startups for the WSA, the World Summit Awards. One of the Israeli nominees – It’s July – was selected as a winner in the Culture & Tourism category, a business that enables families to make empowered connections with like-minded families. “We are super honored to be among the WSA winners for 2022!” (- It’s July)


Social Impact Per L’Italia (Italian NAB)

Social Impact Per L’Italia has been hard at work analysing how sustainability agendas are carried out by different stakeholders through interviews and secondary data analysis. The NAB is gearing up to launch a survey to more than 100 individuals, assessing the most relevant policies, networks, and resources in Italy for championing SDG-driven tech innovation.

With participation from more than 70 actors in the Italian impact investing ecosystem, the NAB held a webinar series geared at empowering impact investing ecosystem actors to be better suited to tackling global challenges, improving knowledge and awareness of impact investing concepts and instruments, and spreading the most adequate impact measurement and management practices. The two events, SIA Dialogues delivered as part of the research project “Impact investing: Transforming finance for a real change”, under the coordination of SIA: Sustainable and financeable business model; and the Impact measurement and management: methods and standards, were held in November and December 2022, respectively. The NAB is currently preparing the last event of the series, Development policies and incentives for impact investing, which will be held on 17 January 2023. 

MAZE (Portuguese NAB)

MAZE has successfully completed interviewing ecosystem experts and has found intriguing and important trends in the Portuguese SDG-driven Innovation Ecosystem. 

As part of the engagement event, an expert consultation was held in December 2022 at the MAZE Impact headquarters, providing content  for the mapping study on best practices and barriers. 

MAZE Engagement Event Invitation December 15, 2022

MAZE Engagement Event Programme December 15, 2022

Earlier in the year, in October 2022, the NAB launched the 2030 Agenda for Impact  which includes 14  recommendations that lay out the strategy for social investment and innovation for Portugal, comprising over 40 organisations across the public, private, and social sectors. 

At the same time, the VI Social Innovation Forum took place in Porto, and the latest edition of the Blue Bio Value Acceleration Program was carried out between September and November for start-ups in the blue biotechnology sector. 



The consortium’s work is generously supported by a grant from the European Commission through its Horizon 2021-2027 European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) initiative.


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or [name of the granting authority]. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.