Social Innovation

Create positive social change

Engaging faculties and community to create social good through collaboration, research, and evaluation.

What is the Social Innovation Initiative (SII)?

The SII is supported by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) to enable faculties to mobilize their academic experience and transdisciplinary expertise into solutions for complex social problems. 

We define social innovation as the intentional implementation of an initiative to address a social need that is enabled through collaborative action leading to new or improved relationships and capabilities that are more effective, efficient, just, and sustainable.

SII's goal is to build capacity for academic social innovators.

The SII serves:

Faculty-based researchers working on solutions for positive social change in community

We provide:

  • Funding for indirect costs of research and partnership (i.e., expert-led workshops, IP and knowledge mobilization support services, outreach activities, costs associated with research conferences and symposiums, marketing of teaching materials)
  • Connection to UCalgary's innovation ecosystem
  • Community informed and integrated collaborations

Review eligibility.

Community agencies developing solutions to complex social challenges


We provide:

  • Multidisciplinary approaches for collaboration and consultation
  • Access to research and evaluation expertise to help advance your programming and mandate
  • Connection to UCalgary's broad innovation ecosystem

UCalgary's SI ecosystem to develop the infrastructure to advance social innovation

We do this by:

  • Advancing a SI culture at UCalgary
  • Thought leadership and accountability
  • Reward and Recognition


Move your SI work forward

Sustainable, community-serving solutions emerge when researchers and community partners work together to generate evidence to implement effective solutions.

The SII is the agent that connects you to a broad network to help build velocity for social good. 

Connect and Get Started

Social Innovation Stories

Community and campus collide in newly launched social innovation hub

Hub will support researchers, social entrepreneurs and community partners to drive innovative solutions to our most complex societal challenges...

Read more

UCalgary is once again the No. 1 startup creator among research institutions in Canada

Read more

Students develop climate change solutions for southern Alberta during Hunter Hub Solutions Lab

Read more


Now Innovating: How nursing, research, and a passion for mental health inspired a path to social innovation


Sharing the stories of UCalgary researchers who have moved their discoveries forward and their innovation journeys to implementation and creating impact.

This series aims to inspire researchers and community partners to take new steps toward transforming discoveries into solutions, products, and services.

Hear from our Social Innovators

Karen Benzies

Strengthening Community Bonds with Karen Benzies


Aleem Bharwani

Stewarding Common Purpose with Dr. Aleem Bharwani


Craig Ginn

Finding Validation in Your Work with Craig Ginn


Julia Imanoff

Nursing, Research and Mental Health with Julia Imanoff

Watch or Listen

The Social Innovation Initiative is supported by the Government of Canada Incremental Project Grants. Learn how UCalgary uses the Incremental Project Grants.