Social and Scientific Innovation to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The European Union (EU) has been central to global discussions about the future of the planet.

It was a major contributor to the development of the United Nations’ Agenda for Global Transformation, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The European Green Deal aims to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050, and this challenge is reflected in the EU’s major investment in public research and innovation for 2021-27, Horizon Europe. Since 2015, EU institutions have also integrated the implementation of the SDGs into their planning as core business. Smart Specialisation is a direct outcome of European integration and reflects the progressive development of the EU’s economic, social, and environmental agenda for a future Europe. It links closely with Horizon Europe and the EU’s commitments to the UN SDGs.

 

The Social and Scientific Innovation to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SSISDG) Network

The Social and Scientific Innovation to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SSISDG) Network will examine the role of the EU’s Smart Specialisation in linking scientific and social innovation, and how this can help deliver global action to address societal challenges. Experience over the past five years in implementing S3 in EU regions has demonstrated that science and technology innovation (STI) can address societal challenges in regions. Yet the EU has also experienced the limitations of STI and recognised the importance of socio-ecological innovation. This has also become apparent in global efforts to meet societal challenges.

As well as focusing on scientific approaches, greater attention should be paid to social innovation. This brings a more holistic perspective on understanding mission challenges and mobilises more diverse, inclusive voices and expertise, to progress these efforts in new directions.

 

Objectives

The SSISDG Network will address this work through a research program considering the links between global action and regional development, and STI and socio-ecological innovation. The Network will address these issues by:

  • Aligning key researchers with interdisciplinary expertise to produce a consolidated overview and analysis of the EU’s learning about place-based innovation and its relevance to addressing societal challenges;
  • Consolidating knowledge about the implementation of Smart Specialisation in regions in Europe and elsewhere in order to assess the relative importance of STI and socio-ecological innovation, thus informing policy and program development in the EU and its international partners;
  • Enhancing linkages amongst researchers and policymakers in the EU and other areas, so research outputs can contribute to policy formation and to practice in specific situations; and
  • Developing open-access resources for teaching about the EU’s global role in promoting innovation, and its capacity for international collaboration.

 

Project Team

 

Erasmus

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.