The University of Northampton is part of a twelve nation partnership that has secured a three year 3.5m Euro research project to redefine the role of social enterprise and social innovation across Europe.
This FP7 project was formally launched at the University of Florence at the end of February, with Wray Irwin from the University Centre for Employability and Engagement (UCEE) and Chris Durkin from the Northampton Institute for Urban Affairs attending the project initiation meeting.
The research will look at the historical, institutional and cultural underpinnings of social innovation, and will influence the EU commission by suggesting interventions, policies, and strategies that enhance the impact of social innovation and success of social enterprises.
Wray Irwin said: “The success of securing this project is down to the hard work all partners have undertaken over the last two years to identify key approaches to social enterprise that can present a new and exciting approach for the commission to take.”
Chris Durkin added”With this research we are working with some of Europe’s leading thinkers in social innovation, and it is an exciting opportunity for the University to spread its influence into Europe at a Commission level.”
Over the next three years there will be a number of conferences, stakeholder sessions, social entrepreneur engagement seminars; leading to papers, policy documents, governmental involvement and transnational working. It is intended that all of the outputs from the research will be disseminated through high profile inter-governmental networks which could lead to further opportunities for the University as the research progresses.
The Research Team from the University of Northampton includes Wray Irwin, Chris Durkin, Dr. Richard Hazenberg, Meanu Bajwa-Patel and Dr. Martin Field.