Project - The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe

Karsten Frøhlich Hougaard

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Project - The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe


Project start 01.2012. Project completion 12.2014.  

Social Innovation - Ordmosaik

This consortium of leading European research institutions and global experts in social innovation has designed a programme of work to build the theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe (TEPSIE). With the Danish Technological Institute as the project manager, the programme works towards the objective of preparing the way for developing the tools, methods and policies which will be part of the EU strategy for social innovation. Its purpose is to strengthen the foundations for other researchers, policy-makers and practitioners so that they can analyse and plan with greater confidence. As such the research programme will map the field, reviewing theories, models, methods and identifying gaps in existing practices and policies, as well as pointing towards the priorities for future strategies.

Tepsie partners

Social innovation: “Social innovations are new solutions (products, services, models, markets, processes etc.) that simultaneously meet a social need (more effectively than existing solutions) and lead to new or improved capabilities and relationships and better use of assets and resources. In other words, social innovations are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act.


Project objectives
To support the development of:

  • reliable metrics for assessing the effectiveness and impact of innovations, and of policies and programmes to promote social innovation;
  • effective capital market instruments and financial supports;
  • suitable regulatory and policy frameworks for ensuring scale and impact
  • a codified and widely understood set of methods;
  • networks and other vehicles to spread methods, learning and skills;
  • co-ordinated leadership; and
  • enabling cultures


  • Danish Technological Institute (project manager), DK
  • The Young Foundation (content manager), UK
  • Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, DE
  • Atlantis Consulting, GR
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa, PT
  • Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+, PL

The project is divided into 8 content-related work packages:

  1. Overview of the system of social innovation
  2. Measuring social innovation
  3. Removing barriers to social innovation
  4. Generating capital flows
  5. Engaging the public
  6. Knowing what works
  7. Growing what works
  8. Using online networks


  • The official project website containing more info and all project deliverables:
  • The platform for European social innovation research (developed as part of TEPSIE):