Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy

Boosting the impact of social innovation in Europe through economic underpinnings (SIMPACT)

Principal Investigator: Peter Cressey

Funder: FP7-SSH

Duration: January 2014 - December 2016

Project rationale and aims

Departmental themes
Related links
Updates and outputs
  • SIMPACT Kick-off Workshop will be hosted by the Intitute for Work & Technology 27-29 January 2014


Find out more about this project

SIMPACT with its 11 partners from nine European countries advances understanding of social innovation’s economic dimensions, creating new concepts, models and instruments for policy makers, innovators, investors and intermediaries. It systematically investigates how social innovations can enable the most vulnerable in society to become economic assets, integrating critical analysis of current and previous work with future-oriented methodologies, new actionable knowledge and continual stakeholder participation.

SIMPACT’s multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological approach advances knowledge and the state of the art by

  • Elaborating a theoretical model of the economic dimensions of social innovation throughout its lifecycle;
  • Generating new empirical knowledge on the economic dimensions through rich, theoretically informed analysis of successful and less successful cases;
  • Analysing drivers and barriers shaping the economic impact of social innovations, and levers for their scaling and diffusion;
  • Developing indicators to measure social innovations and tailored methods to evaluate social and economic impact;
  • Enhancing modes of public policy production, instruments and guidelines;
  • Generating foresight knowledge through agent-based modelling and scenario building.

SIMPACT integrates theoretical, empirical and actionable knowledge to create evidence-based approaches to business development, public policy and research. A participatory research approach actively engages policy makers, innovators, investors and intermediaries of vulnerable groups. Action learning, indicator labs and stakeholder experiments facilitate processes of co-creation, stimulating shared learning, strengthening practitioner knowledge and enhancing conceptualisation of the economic base. Partner understanding of welfare regime diversity, including New Member State specificities, will ensure tailored, actionable deliverables. Eight high profile associate partners will help ensure the success of dissemination activities.


Westphalian University, Institute for Work & Technology, DE (Coordinator)
Technical University Dortmund, Centre for Social Research, DE
Euskampus Fundaziona, Sinnergiak Social Innovation Centre, ES
University of Economics and Management Prague, Centre for Innovation Studies, CZ
TNO – Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research, NL
University Maastricht, Maastricht Economic & Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology, NL
Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, IT
Association Neoma Business School, FR
University of Bath, UK
Centre for European Policy Studies, BE
Nordregio, Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, SE


WP1 – Framing the Scene
WP2 – Social Innovation Behaviour Scenarios
WP3 – Social Innovation as an Economic Solution
WP4 – Development of Stronger Social Innovation Concepts
WP5 – Measuring the Economics of Social Innovation
WP6 – Public Policy Instruments
WP7 – Impact Analysis: Economic Evaluation of Social Innovation
WP8 – Strategic Communication & Dissemination
WP9 – Project Management & Quality Assurance