About the NeSTI Evidence Hub


Your experiences in new forms of innovation and innovation policy at national or regional level - as a practitioner, researcher or policymaker.


The Evidence Hub for Social and Territorial Innovation aims to provide an environment to systematically collect practical information from daily work on innovative actions and Smart Specialisation policy design and implementation. It focuses on what are the people, projects, organizations, challenges, solutions and claims that scaffold the emergent approaches to research and innovation policy making in Europe. Ultimately this website will build an evidence hub which represents and maps the collective knowledge around the topic.


This Evidence Hub is managed by NeSTI, "Network of Regions and Cities for Social and Territorial Innovation", a newly founded NGO that is open to the free participation of European individuals and organizations. NeSTI comes as the follow-up of a successful TC CEE project, CentraLab. Ideators and promoters of this initiative are Darko Fercej from eZavod, Slovenia, Jesse Marsh and Francesco Molinari. We are indebted to Anna De Liddo and Fridolin Wild from Open University for configuring the Evidence Hub and hosting it at their website.

The Evidence Hub tool is developed by the Knowledge Media Institute team (Simon Buckingham Shum, Anna De Liddo and Michelle Bachler) and is part of a family of Evidence Hubs. We are indebted to Harriett Cornish for graphic design.


Our pragmatic objective is to accompany the emergence of new forms of social and territorial innovation, with evidence-based knowledge on the design and implementation of the new approaches to policy making in the context of Smart Specialisation at regional and national levels in Europe. We recognize that practice is the best source of information on this innovative and challenging policy domain. We value your experience and perspective in trying to cluster and support by emerging evidence the research and innovation policy actions being carried out at EU, Member State and Regional level during the programming period 2014-2020. We know how intense has been and is the effort of European policy makers in capturing and understanding the new forms of innovation and incorporating them into S3 design, validation and - soon - implementation. It should be no surprise then to anticipate how difficult it will be to understand and keep pace with the challenges, success and failure stories of the policies, actions and projects developed under the umbrella of S3. This platform therefore aims to develop an evidence-base of effectiveness in S3 implementation, and to identify the gaps in policy and practice that still need to be explored to really make Europe the most innovative environment in the world.


We aim at building a Social Web environment, which works as a Collective Evidence Hub for the European community of innovation practitioners and S3 policy makers and stakeholders.

To do so, http://nesti.evidence-hub.net/ provides an environment where participants are asked to think in terms of:

  • Specific Innovation Challenges for the S3 to address,
  • On-going or emergent innovation initiatives that can be useful examples to build policy on,
  • Issues related to those Challenges,
  • Ideas for new and innovative Policies that can be proposed to tackle those Issues,
  • Initiatives to implement those Policies,
  • Impacts generated by those Initiatives,
  • Enablers as conditions and tools to achieve or measure those Impacts.

Our knowledge repository and mutual learning platform allows to:

  • Post questions and discuss other contributions;
  • Collect and share relevant evidence and Web resources to ground solutions;
  • Discover hidden or unknown resources from latest research on innovation policy, case studies, failure and success stories;
  • Learn who is doing what in the innovation and S3 community network.

Useful side questions:

  • What are the forms of social and territorial innovation in Europe?
  • What is the status of S3 development and implementation in Europe?
  • What are the challenges EU, MS and Regional policy makers still need to face?
  • What are the potential solutions (policies, initiatives) to those challenges?
  • What is the impact of these solutions and how can we document/measure it?

To answer these questions we need a collective effort. We need answers that are built together by sharing, knowledge resources, stories and insights on research and practice in the field of S3. We need collective intelligence in action.


The NeSTI Evidence Hub aims to provide practitioners in this field with a dynamic and living map of where social and territorial innovation are heading and the degree to which national and regional S3 policies are proving capable of capturing the potential.

The Evidence Hub builds on research on Collective Intelligence, Sensemaking, Knowledge Mapping and Social Web technologies and provides an environment in which, by filling simple web forms, users can add their knowledge, ideas, interpretations, and see them instantly mapped within the global innovation community network map.

By aggregating and mining single contributions the Evidence Hub provides a collective picture of the innovation and S3 stakeholders and governance system. This picture can be explored in the form of a simple textual interface (as list of organizations, claims, evidences, issues, resources) or in a more visual way as network map.

The platform allows different users to build progressively and collaboratively on the same content, thus facilitating collaborative knowledge production and discovery and bringing innovators and policy makers together in a new way.

Moreover the system provides users with contextual recommendation based on matching themes. This means, for example, that if you have made a claim, shared some evidence or a piece of data on local development issues, other relevant data on local development will be suggested to you for exploration.

The system also allows you to easily add evidence or present counter-evidence to other people's claims, thus triggering conversations and knowledge sharing between people who tackle similar issues.

Finally the system allows users to visualize, explore and be part of the social network of contributors to the Collective Intelligence Hub on Social and Territorial Innovation.

The Evidence Hub is part of the Cohere family of softwares which are social web tools for knowledge mapping and collaborative annotation developed by the KMi hypermedia discourse team.

  • collect evidences by annotating free web resources, thus using clips of text to ground their claims.
  • Exploit advanced network visualization, search and filtering to interrogate and explore the network maps of Impacts, Drivers, Enablers, Evidence, Resources and Themes.
  • Develop a personal portfolio of these items.
This advanced functionality will be slowly added to the Evidence Hub in the future.

(v 2.0 alpha 1)