Social InnovationTEPSIE

Social Innovation


The Theoretical, Empirical and Policy Foundations for Social Innovation in Europe

TEPSIE is a research collaboration between six European institutions aimed at understanding the theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for developing the field of social innovation in Europe. The project explores the barriers to innovation, as well as the structures and resources that are required to support social innovation at the European level. The aim is to identify what works in terms of measuring and scaling innovation, engaging citizens and using online networks to maximum effect in order to assist policy makers, researchers and practitioners working in the field of social innovation.

The overall strategy of the TEPSIE programme is based on a series of interlocking phases guided by WP1 (overview of the system of social innovation).

• In Phase 1 we provide an overview of the field of social innovation and outline the theoretical framework for the broader TEPSIE programme. A literature review learning from innovation in other fields will be undertaken to inform the other work packages. This will provide a foundation which can be built on in terms of theories of causation and methodologies in subsequent work packages.

• In Phase 2 we develop the analytical building blocks of the research programme, specifically where we believe the early outputs could be useful for policy makers. In this phase we focus on measuring social innovation, barriers to social innovation, ways of engaging citizens in the social innovation process, social finance and the use of online networks in social innovation. We will disseminate our findings through our various networks and at a number of events. We will also design and implement a new research portal, to be integrated into the Social Innovation Europe website which will bring together European research on social innovation. 

• In Phase 3 we will build on the previous research to draw significant detailed lessons and recommendations about how to strengthen the field of social innovation. Again, we will present interim findings to decision-makers through our various networks, and ensure opportunities for feedback, comment and improvement. During this phase we will focus on evaluating and assessing what works, scaling impact and using networks to maximum effect.