Social Innovation Research in Horizon 2020

The importance of social innovation Social innovation has become one of the major topics on the European research agenda.

Although wider interest in social innovation seems to be quite a recent phenomenon in Europe, researchers in universities and beyond have been involved in building a European corpus of knowledge on the subject for the past twenty years. The role of the European Commission in building this knowledge has been crucial through the Framework Programmes. There are several reasons for such attention.

It is clear that new ideas and approaches are needed to tackle the severe and wicked problems with which contemporary societies are struggling, such as climate
change, social vulnerability, long-term unemployment and ageing. Especially in times of economic crisis, social innovation is regarded as one of the crucial elements needed to move forward.

New approaches and instruments cut through administrative thickets and make more of existing assets, partly be reinterpreting them in terms of new discourses. In addition, new resources can be found where nobody had looked before and new actors can be empowered to become agents of change.

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