Social Innovation - (Accompanying) Instrument for Addressing Societal Challenges? Stud-ie zum deutschen Innovationssystem

Matthias Weber, Susanne Giesecke, Attila Havas, Doris Schartinger, Andreas Albiez, Sophia Horak, Knut Blind, Miriam Bodenheimer, Stephanie Daimer, Liu Shi, Maria Stadler, David Schmitz

Research output: Books and ReportsReportpeer-review


he important role of social innovation (SI) for the development and successful implementation of system
innovations to address societal challenges has been increasingly recognised in research and innovation policies
since the first social innovation policy initiatives of the European Commission in the late 2000s and,
subsequently, the explicit consideration of social innovation in the German High-tech Strategy. More recently,
the interest in social innovation has been reinforced by the launch of five transformative missions as new
element in the “Horizon Europe” Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The interest in social innovation focused initially on the role it can potentially play for fostering the
transformation of major socio-technical systems, for instance in energy supply, or mobility. More recently,
social innovation has received growing attention in relation to new and potentially disruptive technological
developments, which often need to be embedded in complementary institutional, organisational, and
behavioural changes to ensure that transformation pathways are pursued that are beneficial to society. The
recent COVID 19 crisis has demonstrated that social innovations can also play a vital role in handling
unexpected problems for which no immediate technological solutions are available. This study therefore
distinguishes between three types of contexts in which social innovations can potentially play an important
role for addressing societal challenges: SI for socio-technical system change, SI for managing disruptive
technologies in society, and SI for better tackling and preparing for crises.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages198
ISBN (Electronic)1613-4338
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Publication series

NameStudie zum deutschen Innovationssystem
PublisherExpertenkommission Forschung und Innovation
ISSN (Electronic)1613-4338

Research Field

  • Innovation Policy and Transformation


  • social innovation
  • Transformation
  • social housing
  • energy cooperatives
  • Corona App
  • Case Studies
  • autonomous driving


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