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Zentrum fuer Soziale Innovation GmbH / Centre for Social Innovation

General Description

ZSI (Centre for Social Innovation) is a private non-profit social science research organisation with 50+ employees established in 1990. The main funders and clients of ZSI are ministries, municipalities, EU, OECD, ILO, UNECE, other public bodies and NGOs. ZSI also performs project-based agency functions for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (BMBWF) in promotion and support of international STI cooperation. ZSI’s key activities are clustered in three units:

  • Research Policy and Development (incl. techno-globalisation; R&D internationalisation; foresight; evaluation; energy; innovation support; science-technology-society studies; scientometrics;),
  • Work and Equal Opportunities (incl. labour market governance; migration research; ageing; innovative labour market policies and inclusion),
  • Technology and Knowledge – (incl. participatory technology assessment; technology enhanced learning; science-society dialogue; science communication – e.g. of nanotechnologies).

On overarching issue for all three units is social innovation as such, and in various thematic areas, such as energy, labour market, nanotechnologies, ICT, etc. In the ENTRANCES project mainly the unit Research Policy and Development will be involved. ZSI links systematically theory and practice, research and application. Many ZSI-projects not only transcend scientific domains, and thus are interdisciplinary; they also include collaboration with professionals and expertise from non-scientific realms and are therefore transdisciplinary. ZSI advises on policy planning and implementation of programmes and projects focusing on social innovations contributing to solving grand challenges such as demographic change, social exclusion and poverty. ZSI also assists in the development of research policies for ministries in Europe and in world wide networks, offers management support, provides evidence-based analyses in support of decision making, and conducts foresight, monitoring and evaluation studies. It has a strong record in supporting and analysing RTI cooperation between the EU with the Western Balkan Countries, Central Europe, and the EU Eastern Partnership countries (as well as Russia).

Role in the project

ZSI will be leading WP3 of the ENTRANCES project. The organisation has profound experience in managing works packages and coordinating projects in the EU Framework Programmes for RTD (FP6, FP7, H2020). ZSI will bring its longstanding expertise in social innovation, its linkages to energy, its strong analytical, impact evaluation and foresight skills and will be involved in tasks & WPs.