To foster regional development through social innovation, the Institute has launched IRIS, the first Regional Social Innovation Incubator in partnership with EMPIS (Estrutura de Missão Portugal Inovação Social) and Portus Park, and with the support of other partners .

Based in Amarante (Northern Portugal), this European pilot project helps local social businesses to start-up, test and grow by offering them all the necessary conditions for accessing knowledge, networks of partnerships and social investors.

It provides them with intensive support enabling them to take advantage of investment opportunities and networks. It also provides synergies and complementarities with the growing community of social entrepreneurs supported by the Institute through the Social Innovation Tournament by hosting an EIB Institute financed residency for selected SIT finalists.

It  also hosts events such as roundtables on “Financing social enterprises in Portugal: main challenges” or training seminars.