Social Innovation Projects


TEPSIE is a research collaboration between six European institutions aimed at understanding the theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for developing the field of social innovation in Europe. The project explores the barriers to innovation, as well as the structures and resources that are required to support social innovation at the European level. The aim is to identify what works in terms of measuring and scaling innovation, engaging citizens and using online networks to maximum effect in order to assist policy makers, researchers and practitioners working in the field of social innovation.


SIMPACT is a research collaboration that aims at understanding the economic foundation of social innovation (SI) targeting marginalised and vulnerable groups in society.


CRESSI will explore the economic underpinnings of social innovation with a particular focus on how policy and practice can enhance the lives of the most marginalized and disempowered citizens in society.


AFINET (AgroForestry Innovation NETworks) is a thematic network aimed to foster the exchange and the knowledge transfer between scientists and practitioners in the agroforestry. AFINET will act at EU level in order to take up research results into practice and to promote innovative ideas to face challenges and resolve problems of practitioners.


Started in May 2018, SMARTA – Sustainable shared mobility interconnected with public transport in European rural areas (developing the concept of ‘smart rural transport areas’) is a two-year project which aims to understand the current relevance and future potential of on-demand and shared mobility services integrated with public transport in the European rural areas.

Social projects developed in rural areas

Mallau, Amigos de Susín (Mallau, friends of Susín) 

In 2013 Angelines Villacampa died. She was the last inhabitant of Susin, a village in a marginalised rural area in the Pyrenees. For years, she was the only person there, and dedicated her life to showing the village to visitors. She boosted the creation of the Mallau Association with the aim of restoring Susin. Since her death, a group of people have continued the restoration work and organize cultural activities to keep Susin alive.

Udny Wind Turbine Trust

The Udny Wind Turbine Project was created in 2006 and it is entirely owned by the local community. The funds generated from the turbine are invested in the local area on local projects, in keeping with the priorities and wishes of local people.


Bieraria is a micro-brewery founded in 2003 after a local municipal “future workshop” to revitalize the historical value chain of mountain husbandry based on barley. The idea was to persuade the municipality and many private partners to create a public company. The shareholder value consists of participation at the annual festival.

Pueblos en arte (Villages in art) 

Pueblos en arte is a cultural platform that connects urban art with the rural environment, and the village with the artist. They support art and culture as tools to reactivate depopulated areas.