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 an idea generated through collaboration that renews existing structures and processes and has the potential to improve the quality of life.

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

Prairies Canada invests $2.65M in Social Innovation Hub focused on launching and scaling innovation

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

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UCalgary students make positive change with Indigenous clean water initiative

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Mind the Gap: Breaking barriers for Calgary immigrants

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UCalgary named a top 5 research university for the first time

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Igniting the spark within researchers to share their discoveries and connect with experts who can help them innovate, implement, and have an impact. 

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


Carlene Donnelly

Defining Your Goals for Impact with Carlene Donnelly


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