SI Drive Newsletter

Issue #1 / July 2nd 2014


Welcome to the SI-Drive Newsletter

First edition


Welcome to the first eNewsletter of SI-DRIVE, a large-scale research project funded in the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme. We will issue regular e-newsletters throughout the project to keep you updated on research findings, policy news and upcoming events. Please register at our si-drive website if you are willing to receive regular information. In our first edition we will answer the very basic questions of WHAT the SI-DRIVE project is about, HOW we will implement the project during the next four years, and WHO is involved.



Welcome notice



SI-Drive project

info in brief


“Social Innovation – Driving Force of Social Change”, in short SI-DRIVE, is a research project aimed at extending knowledge about social innovation (SI) in three major directions by

  • Integrating theories and research methodologies to advance understanding of SI leading to a comprehensive new paradigm of innovation.
  • Undertaking European and global mapping of SI, thereby addressing different social, economic, cultural, historical and religious contexts in eight major world regions.
  • Ensuring relevance for policy makers and practitioners through in-depth analyses and case studies in seven policy fields, with cross European and world region comparisons, foresight and policy round tables.
SI-DRIVE involves 15 partners from 12 EU Member States and 10 partners from other parts of the world (please find further information on our partner organisations below). The project has started in January 2014 and will run for four years. The approach interlinks the research process to both the complexity of the topic and the project work flow:
  • First, cyclical iteration between theory development, methodological improvements, and policy recommendation.
  • Second, two mapping exercises at European and global level. Initial mapping will capture basic information of about 1000+ actual successful and failed social innovations from a wide variety of sources worldwide, leading to a typology of SI and using this to examine the global SI distribution. Subsequent mapping will use the typology to focus on well documented SI, leading to the selection of 10 cases each for in-depth analysis in seven SI-DRIVE Policy Fields (1) education, (2) employment, (3) environment and climate change, (4) energy, (5) transport and mobility, (6) health and social care, and (7) poverty reduction and sustainable development.
  • Third, these case studies will be further analysed, used in stakeholder dialogues in 7 policy field platforms and in analysis of cross-cutting dimensions (e.g. gender, diversity, ICT), carefully taking into account cross-sector relevance (private, public, civil sectors), and future impact.

The outcomes of SI-DRIVE will cover a broad range of research dimensions, impacting particularly in terms of changing society and empowerment, and contributing to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. We are convinced that the concept of social innovation needs a stronger theoretical grounding from a practical as well as a scientific perspective. The theoretical assertions and improvements will be applied, tested and continually developed by means of sound empirical data and case studies. Research in these policy areas will be carried out for all EU Member states, supplemented by regional trend studies including major world regions: (1) Russia,(2) North America, (3) South America, (4) Australia/New Zealand, (5) Asia, (6) South Africa, (7) Middle East, (8), Near East.


About SI-Drive



The SI-Drive Team

our partner organisations


SI-DRIVE involves the following 15 EU and 10 non-EU partners:

Technische Universität Dortmund (Coordinator; TUDO/sfs, Germany) * Applied Research and Communications Fund (ARC Fund, Bulgaria) * Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT, Austria) * Brunel University (UBRUN, United Kingdom) * Center for Research on Social Innovation, University of Quebec in Montreal (CRISES, Canada) * Centro de Innovación Social, Agencia Nacional para la Superación de la Pobreza Extrema (ANSPE, Colombia) * European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA, Belgium) * Heliopolis University Cairo (HU, Egypt) * Institut Arbeit und Technik, Westfälische Fachhochschule Gelsenkirchen (IAT, Germany) * Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISEDT RAS, Russia) * International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED, Sweden) * Istanbul Teknik Universitesi (ITU, Turkey * Kazimiero Simonavičiaus Universitetas (KSU, Lithuania) * Lama Development and Cooperation Agency (LAMA, Italy) * social innovation lab (SIL, Croatia) * Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, India) * Australian Centre for Innovation, University of Sydney (ACIIC, Australia) * TNO (The Netherlands) * United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, Chile) * University of Deusto (UDEUSTO, Spain) * University Danubius Galati (UDG, Romania) * University of Cape Town, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UCT, South Africa) * The Young Foundation (YF, United Kingdom) * Zhejiang University (ZJU, China) * Zentrum für Soziale Innovation (ZSI, Austria)



SI-Drive Collaborations


SI-Drive is not build from scratch. We cooperate with various social innovation initiatives and FP 7 research projects such as TEPSIE, BENISI, and TRANSITIONS. We thus join together by organising the first Social Innovation Festival that will take place mid-November 2014 in Lisbon. Invitations will be sent out soon!

      TRANSITION Project 


Social Innovation Festival in November in Lisbon



Expected Project results

science you can touch


SI-Drive connects with initiatives: We are building up a social innovation community of researchers and practitioners and aim at developing an integrated theory of social innovation.

In a nutshell, scientific research, interactive communication with relevant networks of stakeholders and communities, the analysis of pertinent policy areas and concluding recommendations for policies and practice, will be guided by the following four objectives and expected outcomes:

  1. 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)
  2. 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
  3. to identify and assess success as well as failure 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. Millenium Development Goals (MDG)).
  4. to undertake future-oriented policy-driven research, analyse barriers and drivers for SI; develop tools and instruments for policy interventions (SI experimentation, incubation, ‘SI Manual’).


Socical innovation Community & Theory of social innovation



Consortium and Kick-Off Meeting

Project Start: 1 January 2014


The SI-Drive Kick-off meeting in Dortmund on 17-18 February 2014 was a success: Over 50 researchers of the partner organisations  collected and discussed  altering approaches to social innovation in the world regions in the format of word cafés. The results build the basis for the investigations in the seven policy areas under scrutiny that will follow within si-drive in the upcoming four years.


Kick-off Meeting in February 2014



Social Innovation in the Western Balkans

Social Innovation Lab


In the Western Balkans, there is the lack of broad recognition and poor understanding of the social innovation concept as a whole, particularly in the business areas that tackle issues like climate change and green energy, workplace innovation, active ageing, social economy etc.

Social Innovation Laboratory (SIL) is a regional hybrid organization, aimed at the creation of an innovative platform for social innovation where knowledge, ideas and practices meet to find solutions for development challenges in the South East European regional socioeconomic context. Through various activities SIL became recognizable organization that helps the communities in raising the quality of everyday life, helps policymakers in encouraging prosperous economic development via social innovation and promotes innovation on an international level. SIL wants to continue contributing with good practices and solutions with defining methods for promoting those practices to the broader public. The ultimate goal is to continue the task of providing a platform for social innovations advancement and in the future to be known as an umbrella program for bridging sectors, addressing needs in a more responsible and multidisciplinary way. Through SI-DRIVE, SIL will continue its efforts in the founding of an innovative program for social innovation where it will support creativity and innovation while rigorously analyzing what works and exploring new investment models that deliver sustainability and value for money.




Never throw food away!

Is it possible to do business recovering unsold food from the Great Distribution?


Monday, 26th May was the final day of Food Waste Reduction, the acceleration programme that supports the birth of a social innovation business for the management of food waste. The initiative, promoted by Il Cuore Si Scioglie Foundation and Impact Hub Florence, started with a competition launched in January 2014. The 3 teams that passed the first selection received expert support from consultants of the SI-Drive partner LAMA and developed their business ideas: on May 26th, one of them was chosen and received an award consisting of an incubation programme within the social innovation hub Impact Hub Firenze. Please visit us here.





Where can we get with a code jam?

Volunteering for new technologies and solidarity


A set of newly produced Off Grid Boxes realized by La Fabbrica del Sole and Exergy are ready to be shipped from Italy to the Philippines. They use a technology developed in Italy for the first time, capable of capturing renewable energy from multiple sources (sun, wind, rain, sea) and transforming it into electricity for lighting and potable or hot water. Their monitoring and control unit has been developed by FabLab Florence with a group of volunteer programmers, during a code jam organized by Impact Hub Florence on 3-4 May. The boxes will be used by Oxfam Italy in flooded areas of the Philippines.Please see here.





ISEDT RAS: Conference on Social Innovation in Vologda, Russia

Unique experience of social innovation implementation


A conference on social innovations was held in Vologda in April 2014. Cooperation on SI-DRIVE was discussed by the scientists of Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of Russian Academy of Sciences and the City Administration’s representatives. Vologda has stored a unique experience of social innovation implementation which was found to be effective on an international level. The mayor emphasized that development of such practices requires a serious scientific basis. The conference allowed to reach the agreements, whereby it is planned to use Vologda’s positive experience in SI-DRIVE.




coming Soon ...

Second SI-Drive newsletter


The second SI-Drive newsletter will be issued in September 2014.

Please register at our si-drive website if you are willing to receive regular information.


2nd SI-Drive Newsletter

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EU This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 612870.