Social Impact Finance: a call from MIUR to create an Italian research network
Gathering knowledge and developing experimental prototypes of models and tools on the theme of Finance and Social Impact is the objective of the call for proposals “Social Impact Finance – a Network for Research”, launched by Italy’s Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).
With a total budget of 1 million euro, the call intends to fund up to two study and research projects aimed at developing models of financial innovation in response to social needs and at providing the knowledge base and data necessary to the testing of innovative financial models. In particular, the selected projects should analyze approaches and models designed to modernize social policies and services, while providing useful information to measure the effects of impact investment tools.
To contribute to the creation of the knowledge base necessary for the development of the finance sector with a social impact in Italy, project proposals should:
- Create a base of empirical evidence through the collection and systematization of quantitative and qualitative data on existing successful cases and the potential of the sector in terms of supply and demand;
- Develop experimental prototypes of models and tools with a social impact.
Research activities should cover key sectors, such as strengthening of demand, financial engineering instruments and vehicles, improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending, social impact measurement.
The call for proposals is open to state universities and public research organizations supervised by MIUR which – teamed up in groups of minimum 3 and maximum 5 entities – have the opportunity to submit proposals with a cost of between 350 thousand euro and 495 thousand euro. Projects should have a maximum duration of three years.
Proposals should be submitted via the SIRIO online access point by 2 December 2016, the deadline of the call. A panel of experts appointed by MIUR will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria: quality of applicants; scientific and technical quality of the proposal; relevance, usefulness and originality of expected knowledge and results.
The call is in line with the provisions of the National Research Programme (NRP) 2015-2020 (in Italian), which pays particular attention to the need that the benefits of innovation and new technologies should result in an increased ability to respond to emerging social needs. In this light, the NRP gives a prominent role to the development of new financial instruments able, on the one hand, to enhance the knowledge coming from research that can help address emerging social challenges and, on the other hand, to foster social innovation and transformation processes related to the development of new technologies.
The person in charge of the procedure is Fabrizio Cobis, MIUR manager.