Interplay of Technological and Social Innovation
So far, socio-economic research on innovation predominately focused on the social preconditions,
effects and processes relating to technologcial innovation. Likewise, innovation policyes across
Europe continues to be fixed to technology. Hoever, the more daily life and work is permeated with
technical innovations, that in isolation are not enough to cope with todays challenges,
the more important other forms of innovation become. Forasmuch, the co-evolution of
technology-driven growth and social innovation remains a pending question.
The overall goal is to contextualise «technologically bounded» social innovation and therewith,
advance the knowledge on co-evlutionary processes and outcomes of social innovation and technology-based
growth underpinned by technology diffusion.
The co-evolution of technology-driven economic growth and social innovation is investigated
by focusing on
- 1 the structure and size of
the market and spillover effects at regional and national levels,
- 2 the structure of the
industry and its impact on the creation and growth of knowledge-intensive
industries as well of the process of appropriation strategies,
- 3 investment in public
institutions and public knowledge that aim at developing social networks
and promoting the adoption of innovation-led practices by citizens and social communities.
The analysis will combine desk research with case studies and expert interviews with social actors. This will
allow us to contextualise the processes and outcomes of what we have defined as technologically bounded
social innovation. The focus will be on organisations, institutions, and communities that use technology to
promote a wide array of social objectives (e.g. generation & dissemination of public knowledge by universities
and research institutes, support of entrepreneurial initiatives through technical education and training). Further
examples will be drawn from the sectors and areas that have been relying increasingly on ICT to
- offer services to socially disadvantaged populations (e.g. banking, microfinance, distant schooling),
- promote closer links between social and economic actors (social networking, citizen forums,
producer-consumer cooperation), and
- provide guidelines, control and evaluation mechanisms in favour of social and environmental initiatives
(sustainable development, CSR).