Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Digital Social Platforms for Societal Challenges

Digital Social Platforms for Societal Challenges

Digital Social Platforms (Unit H.2)

By developing Digital Social Platforms (DSP) we will contribute to the Europe 2020 social policy objectives, enable large scale (social) innovation for tackling specific societal challenges and support the uptake of the Horizon 2020 programme results.  


To develop DSP as concept and to validate in limited number of pilots projects resulting from  LEIT call 2 (2015). To explore and develop Digital Social Platforms for innovation and growth, by engaging on a large scale with stakeholders in the co-creation and delivery of digital products and services to citizens. This includes awareness-raising, new policy initiatives and deployment, in particular (but not only) with regards to active and healthy ageing.   


Many ICT and internet-driven innovative products and services are being developed that could help tackle societal challenges in eHealth, Ageing, Security, Sustainability and Mobility. But their deployment is hampered by the fact that society and economy have to change their ways of working, their institutional arrangements and their regulation. Social innovation at scale is needed to overcome social and cultural resistance to change and to lower the barriers for stakeholders to actively participate in the required transition process. In order to accelerate this process, effective engagement of relevant innovation stakeholders must be ensured, including those not likely to engage at european or international levels. Digital Social Platforms (DSPs) provides a way of organising this at the European level.European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) such Active and Healthy Ageing and Smart Cities are examples of Digital Social Platforms (DSP) that bring together large number of communities and stakeholders interested in tackling a specific societal challenge in innovative ways. DSP can support other types of communities where large scale bottom-up innovation is essential, including support to social innovation directly and indirectly by bringing together all relevant stakeholders beyond traditional R&I projects and pilots.  


Full-Time Equivalent: 
3.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
We envisage under the Horizon 2020 programme a spending of the order of € 7 ml (years 2014-15). ). Further budget will become available as part of the H2020 2016-17 LEIT work programme.



Digital Social Platforms exploration

By end of 2017 to develop and apply the Digital Social Platform concepts and solutions tackling specific societal challenge and their potential to engage at large with the stakeholders, including those previously excluded from innovation pilots and initatives at EU level. 

Timeframe: 2014-2015



Number of people actively engaging in large scale DSP innovative actions tackling specific societal challenges

Target 20% increase in active stakeholder engagement in funded DSP pilots (2017-18)
Baseline To be established as part of proposed actions by project proposers (2016)
Current To be established by as part of proposed actions by project proposers (2016)

Supplied as part of the funded projects. For proposals relating to the CNECT EIPs, there will be a known baseline coming from the current commitments, which include the number of citizens currently involved.

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • EIP AHA - Increase healthy life for everyone in Europe by an average of two years
  • Contribute to a better exploitation of the industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development.
  • help Union funding programmes to focus more on Europe 2020 priorities, address societal challenges and key technologies, facilitate collaborative and industry-driven research, radically simplify access, and reduce time to market.
  • Help realise the contribution of the DSP and it's current example - European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing- to the aims of Horizon 2020, by bringing together all relevant actors across the whole research and innovation chain in view of streamlining, simplifying and better coordinating instruments and initiatives