POLICY BRIEF: WILCO position paper calls on European Commission to fund social innovation - Wilco Project


The WILCO project has published a position paper as input for the discussions on Horizon2020. The paper is endorsed by four other European research projects (INNOSERV, LIPSE, TEPSIE and CSEYHP), showing that the views and concerns expressed in the paper are widely shared.

European Union-funded research can play a crucial role in encouraging social innovation. There is hardly any other funder that supports comparative research on this scale. Moreover, the European Union encourages both academic excellence and practical application of the results, whereas other funders tend to lean heavily towards the former (e.g. national science foundations) or the latter (businesses and governments). This is why the choices made in Horizon2020 are so crucial.

The paper makes a number of recommendations to the European Union:

  1. To devote sufficient funds for social innovation in Horizon 2020, including funds for transfer and dissemination.
  2. To involve all stakeholders (the scientific community, civil society and the public and private sectors) in identifying and defining research topics on social innovation.
  3. To address at least the following key themes in its research funding:
    • The clarification of the relationship between technological and social innovation.
    • The impact and outcomes of social innovations on urgent problems in contemporary society.
    • The measurement and evaluation of social innovations.
    • The link between research and capacity building.
  4. To encourage more collaboration, both between European Union-funded projects and between academics and practitioners.
  5. To increase the flexibility within projects, to allow project managers more scope for responding to stakeholders and addressing emerging needs on an on-going basis.

Read the full position paper: WILCO Position Paper Social Innovation