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Research and innovation

Social innovation as a trigger for transformations


978-92-79-68440-1, KI-01-17-409-EN-N
Publication date
20 February 2018
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
Related department
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation


This review of research on social innovation (SI) examines its place in research and innovation projects, especially those funded by the EU. It also reflects on the relevance of SI and SI research in collective action, policy making and socio-political transformation in Europe and the world today. In particular, it makes suggestions on how SI research can contribute to strengthening the position

of the social sciences and humanities in the contemporary and future European research and policy landscape. It thus seeks to explain how SI as a concept and a practice holds a great socio-political transformative potential, and warns against reducing the meaning of SI to mere social problem mending as a response to state and market insufficiencies. The included projects either have their main focus on SI, capacity building and/or networking of SI initiatives, or, alternatively, attributing a more or less important role to SI in projects with their primary focus on social policies, including youth empowerment, health, social entrepreneurship and the non-profit sector, promoting environmental sustainability, food processing and consumption, ocean development and governance, transportation, and nanotechnologies.


20 FEBRUARY 2018
Social innovation as a trigger for transformations