INNOSERV is a project developing an EU wide research agenda to evaluate innovation in the field of social services (especially for health, education and welfare services). This will help define future research activities.

INNOSERV responds to the FP7-Cooperation call FP7-SSH-2011-3 for a ‘support action concerning a social platform on innovative social services.’ Answering the objectives of the call, the INNOSERV project will:

Project Consortium

Heidelberg University

- Germany
The Institute for the Study of Diaconia/Christian Social Service (DWI) and the Centre for Social Investment (CSI)

University of Applied Sciences

- Germany
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Roskilde University

- Denmark
Department of Society and Globalisation

Diakonhjemmet University College

- Norway
A diaconal, Norwegian private Lutheran educational institution

Budapest Institute

- Hungary
An independent think tank

IRS - Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale

- Italy
IRS - Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale, Area Politiche della Formazione e del Lavoro, Bologna

University of Southampton

- United Kingdom
The University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences

IAE de Paris

- France
Sorbonne Graduate Business School


- Belgium
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities


- Belgium
A European network of NGOs working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide


- Ireland
The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is a European wide network of disabled people


INNOSERV is an integrated project funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission which deals with innovation in the field of social services.

The project aims to establish a platform bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy-makers working on the planning and conduct of social services.

Eleven organisations from nine European countries, both research institutes and membership-based organisations, are involved in the two year project.

“With the new social platform we hope to assess the latest trends in research and practice, identify knowledge gaps and stimulate research inquiry,” says Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich of Heidelberg University who is coordinator of the project.

“The idea is for service providers, political decision-makers, associations, researchers and service users to use the platform, once it has been established, to discuss which service offerings in Europe are innovative and what future scenarios should be envisaged in the health, welfare and extracurricular education sectors.”

For Prof. Eurich, one important function of the INNOSERV project is the use of low-threshold communication devices like short films or podcasts. “These are designed to overcome communication barriers between individual research disciplines and practical application by addressing a broadly defined target group.”

Project Outputs



If you are interested in details or if you have information about innovative service approaches, you are welcome to contact Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich at johannes.eurich@dwi.uni-heidelberg.de. The reports and results of the project will be accessible under open access to any interested person/organization.