SI-Drive  a research project designed to explore social innovations on a global scale, which are understood as new strategies, concepts, ideas and ways of organising that meet different types of social needs and address socio-economic problems. The project was implemented by 15 partners from EU countries and 10 partners from different regions of the world, representing leading universities and research institutes, social innovation centres, NGOs and various organisations engaged in R&D activities. 

Project period 2014 – 2087


  • To determine the nature, characteristics and impacts of social innovation as key elements of a new paradigm of innovation (strengthen the theoretical and empirical base of social innovation as part of a wider concept of innovation that thoroughly integrates social dimensions). 
  • To map, analyse and promote social innovations in Europe and world regions to better understand and enable social innovations and their capacity for changing societies. 
  • To identify and assess success factors of SI in seven particular policy areas, supporting reciprocal empowerment in various countries and social groups to engage in SI for development, working towards Europe 2020 targets and sustainable development (e. g. Millennium Development Goals (MDG)). 



  1. Dortmund Technical University (Social Research Centre), Germany (Coordinator) 
  2. Applied Research and Communications Fund, Bulgaria 
  3. Australian Centre for Innovation, Australia 
  4. Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria 
  5. University of Cape Town (Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship), South Africa 
  6. University of Quebec (Centre for Research on Social Innovation), Canada 
  7. Corporation Somos Más, Colombia 
  8. Heliopolis University, Egypt 
  9. Istanbul Technical University, Turkey 
  10. Institute for Work and Technology, Germany 
  11. Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation 
  12. International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development, Sweden 
  13. Kazimieras Simonavičius University, Lithuania 
  14. Social Innovation Lab, Croatia 
  15. Lama Development and Cooperation Agency, Italy 
  16. Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, The Netherlands 
  17. Ryerson University, Canada 
  18. Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India 
  19. The Young Foundation, United Kingdom 
  20. United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile 
  21. University of Deusto, Spain 
  22. University Danubius Galati, Romania 
  23. University of Bradford, United Kingdom 
  24. Zhejiang University, China 
  25. Centre for Social Innovation Vienna – ZSI – Vienna, Austria 


The project was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. 

Policy areas: 

  • Education 
  • Employment 
  • Environment 
  • Energy 
  • Mobility / Transport 
  • Health and Social Care 
  • Poverty and Sustainable Development 

More information on the project is available on the website