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).

Basic Information

  • Coordinator
  • Contact
    Sharam ALIJANI
  • Involved Partners
  • Start date