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The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe


The European Commission’s Innovation Union strategy clearly places innovation at the centre of the policy agenda for meeting social challenges affecting Europe and its Member States. The field of social innovation is developing rapidly all over the world, with new institutions, methods and activities. However, at present the ability for Europe to coordinate and galvanise its undoubted potential across Member States is limited by the lack of the systematic and sophisticated infrastructures of support available to other fields. These include the absence of:

- reliable metrics for assessing the effectiveness and impact of innovations, and of policies and programmes to promote social innovation;
- effective capital market instruments and financial supports;
- suitable regulatory and policy frameworks for ensuring scale and impact
- a codified and widely understood set of methods;
- networks and other vehicles to spread methods, learning and skills;
- co-ordinated leadership; and
- enabling cultures.

This consortium of leading European research institutions and global experts in social innovation has designed a programme of work to build the theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe. The objective of this research programme is to prepare the way for developing the tools, methods and policies which will be part of the EU strategy for social innovation. Its purpose is to strengthen the foundations for other researchers, policy-makers and practitioners so that they can analyse and plan with greater confidence. As such the research programme will map the field, reviewing theories, models, methods and identifying gaps in existing practices and policies, as well as pointing towards the priorities for future strategies.

Call for proposal

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Gregersensvej 1
2630 Taastrup

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Danmark Hovedstaden Københavns omegn
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Jeremy Millard (Mr.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (5)