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Department of Social Sciences

SIMPACT: Boosting the Impact of Social Innovation in Europe through Economic Underpinnings

01/01/2014 - 12/31/2016

SIMPACT advances understanding of the economic dimensions of social innovation and creates new concepts, models, and tools for policymakers, innovators, investors, and intermediaries.

European Union - 7th Framework Program

SIMPACT integrates theoretical, empirical, and actionable knowledge to create evidence-based approaches to business development, public policy, and research. A participatory research approach actively engages policymakers, innovators, investors, and intermediaries from vulnerable groups. Action learning, indicator labs, and stakeholder experiments facilitate processes of co-development, stimulate shared learning, strengthen practitioner knowledge, and improve conceptualization of the economic base. Partners' understanding of the diversity of welfare systems, including the specifics of new member states, will ensure tailored, actionable results. Eight high-profile associated partners will help ensure the success of SIMPACT's dissemination activities.

  • Westfälische Hochschule, Institute for Work and Technology, DE (Coordinator)
  • Dortmund University of Technology, Social Research Center, DE
  • Euskampus Fundaziona, Center for Social Research Sinnergiak, ES
  • University of Economics and Management Prague, Center for Innovation Studies, CZ
  • TNO - Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, NL
  • Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic & Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology, NL
  • Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, IT
  • Association Neoma Business School, FR
  • University of Bath, UK
  • Center for European Policy Studies, BE
  • Nordregio, Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, SE

The project systematically explores how social innovation can enable the most vulnerable in society to become economic assets. It combines a critical analysis of current and previous work with forward-looking methods, new actionable knowledge and continuous stakeholder engagement.

SIMPACT's multidisciplinary, cross-method approach advances knowledge and the state of the art by:

  1. Elaborating a theoretical model of the economic dimensions of social innovations throughout their life cycle.
  2. Gaining new empirical insights into the economic dimensions through a comprehensive, theoretically grounded analysis of successful and less successful cases
  3. Analyzing the drivers and barriers that determine the economic impact of social innovations and the levers for their scaling and diffusion
  4. Developing indicators to measure social innovations and tailored methodologies to assess their social and economic impact
  5. Improving modalities for the development of public policies, tools and guidelines; (vi) Generating predictive knowledge through agent-based modeling and scenario building.