TEPSIE – Growing Social Inovation

Theory, empirical capturing and policy in the context of Social Innovation

Tasks and goals

Objective: Investigating theoretical and practical foundations of Social Innovation

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that all countries of the European Union must confront similar social problems: Climate change, impoverishment and precariousness, demographic change and integration are all problems that European societies must solve. At the same time, it is becoming apparent that previous responses to these problems have produced only unsatisfactory results. As a result, demands for innovative and more effective solutions are steadily increasing: social innovation has become a central issue in the EU's political program. Against this background, an international consortium worked at the European level in the research project "The Theoretical, Empirical and Policy Foundations for Building Social Innovation in Europe" (TEPSIE) on a strategy for the entire European Union to promote innovative solutions to social problems. Research on social innovation was therefore at the core of the TEPSIE project. Despite the fact that the field of social innovation is developing dynamically worldwide, the effective use of innovation capital within the EU is still limited due to the lack of a systematic and differentiated research framework. Recognizable deficits exist especially with regard to reliable metrics and measurement models for assessing the efficiency and impact of social innovations. There is also a lack of adequate policy programs and appropriate legal frameworks to support social innovation. There is also a lack of effective capital market institutions and financing instruments, as well as networks to scale and mainstream approaches, skills and knowledge related to social innovation. Since January 2012 (until 2015), the TEPSIE consortium of leading European research institutions worked on developing a theoretical, empirical and policy foundation for building and promoting social innovation in Europe.

January 2012 - January 2015

Project team
Dr. Georg Mildenberger (project manager)
Dr. Gudrun-Christine Schimpf
Dr. Gorgi Krlev

European Commission (FP-7)