Project Summary

This project, exploring the Theoretical, Empirical and Policy Foundations for Social Innovation in Europe (TEPSIE) is being carried out by a consortium of six partners. Together, this consortium has designed a research programme which aims to prepare 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 to help develop the field of social innovation.  As such, the research programme will map the field, reviewing theories, models and methods and identify gaps in existing practices and policies, as well as pointing towards the priorities for future strategies.

Project phases

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 (Months 1-5)  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 (Months 6-18) 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 (Months 19-30) 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. 

 TEPSIE deliverables (key discussion papers)

Numbers reflect work package deliverables


WP TitleForecast date
9 Interactive Workshop – Social Innovation in the age of the sharing economy – Berkeley, San Francisco 19-04-2012
9 Launching the project website 31-05-2012
1 Briefing report including a literature and practice overview of the field of social innovation 31-05-2012
8 Report on development of online networking tools, and their relevance for social innovation 31-05-2012
1 Literature review of learning, knowledge and methods in innovation from other fields 30-06-2012
2 Discussion/policy paper on the meaning of the Social Economy in the EU 30-09-2012
3 Report on the barriers that exist at the different stages of social innovation 30-09-2012
4 Report on existing social finance investment instruments in the EU 30-09-2012
4 Report on social finance markets and cultures in the EU 30-09-2012
2 Comparative report on methodologies on social innovation measurement 30-06-2013
2 Discussion/policy paper on the potential of future measurement, policy and action recommendations 30-06-2013
2 Integrated final report on measuring social innovation 30-06-2013
3 Scientific paper for comparative analysis of barriers and social innovation development measures 30-06-2013
4 Report on potentials and feasibility of future instruments for apitalizing social innovators 30-06-2013
5 Recommendations for policies, framework conditions and practice for successfully engaging society 30-06-2013
8 Report on the role of communities and networks in social innovation 30-06-2013
9 Interim Conference Early 07 - 2013
6 Collection of social innovation measures appraisals 31-12-2013
7 Literature review: methods and approaches to growing, scaling and diffusing social innovation 31-12-2013
6 Collection and synthesis of good practices in social innovation and venture evaluation 30-06-2014
7 Report on successful scaling of social innovation incl. case studies of three key sectors 30-06-2014
7 Report on the support infrastructure needed to grow social innovation in Europe 30-06-2014
8 Recommendations for policies, framework conditions and practices for successful online networking 30-06-2014
9 Final international conference 31-12-2014



Project Info

Key Stats

  • Project Number: 290771
  • FP7 theme: New innovation processes including Social Innovation (collaborative project)
  • EU Contribution: EUR 2.5 mio. 
  • Project Start: 1 January 2012
  • Project End: 1 January 2015
  • Coordinator: Jeremy Millard, John Rene Keller  Lauritzen

Socio-economic sciences and humanities

Tepsie is part of this (SSH) theme whose overall objectives are :-

  • research activities in the field of socio-economic sciences and humanities; 
  • generating an in-depth, shared understanding of complex and interrelated socio-economic challenges Europe is confronted with in an enlarged EU;
  • the development of an improved knowledge base for policies in all fields concerned.

For more information visit the Europa website

Seventh Framework

FP7 research activities will strengthen Europe’s scientific and technology base and ensure its global leadership in ICT, help drive and stimulate product, service and process innovation and creativity through ICT use and ensure that ICT progress is rapidly transformed into benefits for Europe’s citizens, businesses, industry and governments. For more about FP7

Social Innovation

Read more about Social Innovation on Wikipedia


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