Indicator Social Innovation Plus / IndiSiPlus


Social innovations drive modern social market economies and our social interaction. For the first time, social innovations were anchored in the German federal budget in 2020. In its current funding round, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs is looking for organisations "with social impact," and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched the "Society of Ideas" initiative in 2020. There is no doubt, social innovations are becoming increasingly important in policymaking.

"As new solutions addressing societal needs and initiating a change in societal practices, social innovations relate to new forms of interaction, cooperation, governance, and knowledge creation."

Unfortunately, we have little data on social innovations and the conditions under which they emerge. However, lack of data is one of the main factors that make targeted support for social innovations difficult.

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the second round, the IndiSI+ project sets out to change this. In the precursor project IndiSI, a comprehensive indicator set for social innovations was developed and tested in the Rhine-Ruhr pilot region. The measurement was related to three interrelated levels:

  1. Organisations as social innovation actors
  2. Regional (framework) conditions for the emergence of social innovations
  3. Discourses in social media as early indicators for social innovation  


IndiSI+ now wishes to use the tools developed to collect data to analyse and compare social innovation in as many other regional contexts as possible (NUTS-3 or larger). Only in this way evidence-based support of social innovations becomes possible. We strive to achieve this goal through the following sub-goals:

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The IndiSI framework model (link to framework model) with its indicators serves as a basis for continuous measurement of social innovations. Hence, it generates an added value for the research and promotion of as well as the investment in social innovations and other actors involved in social innovations (e.g. from the financial sector, municipalities, education, transfer agencies, welfare organisations, etc.). Forasmuch, the indicators contribute to the completion of an innovation measurement that encompasses social and economic innovations. This overarching goal of IndiSI+ refers to the expected impact beyond the project term, while the objectives presented below are to be achieved within the two-year project term.

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