SIMPACT was a FP7-funded research project. With its 11 partners from nine European countries, it advanced understanding of social innovation’s economic dimensions, creating new concepts, models and instruments for policy makers, innovators, investors and intermediaries. It systematically investigated 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 mixed-method approach advanced knowledge and the state of the art by (i) elaborating a theoretical model of the economic dimensions of social innovation throughout its lifecycle; (ii) generating new empirical knowledge on the economic dimensions through rich, theoretically informed analysis of successful and less successful cases; (iii) analysing drivers and barriers shaping the economic impact of social innovations, and levers for their scaling and diffusion; (iv) developing indicators to measure social innovations and tailored methods to evaluate social and economic impact; (v) enhancing modes of public policy production, instruments and guidelines; (vi) generating foresight knowledge through agent-based modelling and scenario building.
Linking theoretical research with the collection, analysis and modelling of empirical evidence and continuous stakeholder dialogue has allowed the SIMPACT consortium to develop the appropriate tools and mechanisms, including measurement and ex ante impact assessment tools, for social innovators, intermediaries and policymakers.
CEPS was responsible for WP2 Social Innovation Behaviour Scenarios. The overall objective was to test and verify the findings, concepts, models and instruments developed throughout the project by simulating different scenarios of how social innovation works in an economic ‘efficient’ way. The scenarios were elaborated based on a combination of agent-based simulation and stakeholder experiments. Policy implications on how to promote social innovation were identified.