European research excellence @TIHR

European research excellence @TIHR

Tackling complex societal challenges...

Tackling complex societal challenges…

As many of today’s’ societal challenges extend beyond national boundaries, the Tavistock Institute is bringing social science expertise to a number of cutting-edge projects funded by the EU’s research excellence and innovation programme Horizon 2020 as well as its Erasmus+ programme.

Our current portfolio of European research and development projects covers some of the most important challenges European societies are facing today:

  • Resilience and emergencies – the ability of individuals, organisations, communities and societies to deal with natural and man-made emergencies, and the role ICTs can play in this process. In the EmerGent project, we explored the impact of social media before, during and after emergencies. Linked to this is our current investigation into the resilience of local communities in the face of multiple hazards. As part of the RESILOC partnership, we will be carrying out in-depth social science research into resilience which will directly inform the creation of a cloud-based holistic framework to assess a city’s resilience.
  • Competitiveness and sustainable economic growth through innovation is high on the EU, as well as the UK, political agenda. As evaluation partners in the Textiles and Clothing Business Laboratory (TCBL) project we are assessing the difference this large scale sectoral change project is making in transforming the European textiles sector towards greater economic, social and environmental sustainability by building an ecosystem of values-driven textiles and clothing businesses and research labs. We will identify transferable lessons that will help others be similarly ambitious. In the Designscapes project, we are examining the role of design in social, product and service innovations at city level with a particular focus on improving access of disadvantaged people to these innovations.
  • Digital and social inclusion. As participation in social and economic life increasingly relies on access to ICTs, some people are left behind (“digitally excluded”). The Medici project develops an inventory of interventions as well as a practitioner knowledge community to support a wider take up and replication of successful or innovative interventions to tackle the digital divide. Our portfolio of projects addressing the problem of young people not in employment, education and training (NEETS) currently focuses on re-integrating young people who are NEET into employment, education or training (NEETS in Action).

Each project involves working in multi-disciplinary and multi-country partnerships, currently making us part of a network of 68 organisations in 17 EU countries. These networks are innovation spaces themselves, offering us an opportunity to apply cutting edge social science methods (such as quantitative analyses of tweets, complexity informed evaluation or dissemination of results via video animation) to deepen insights into the social phenomena investigated and increase the impact of the research. However, the UK’s process of leaving the EU unfolds, we will continue with this important work also via our German Office.

Dr Kerstin Junge
Principal Researcher and Consultant leading TIHR EU work

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