The project aims to take a closer look at a specific group of social innovations, the "Hidden Sustainability Champions", their potential and their promotion. The focus is on innovations that make a particular contribution to the sustainability and resilience of a region. These are evaluated in detail using the relatively new method of innovation biographies in order to identify success factors and, accordingly, opportunities for promotion. These are being tested and further refined in Osnabrück, which is considered structurally weak, together with the local business development or state and development company of the district.
Many social initiatives and ventures create symbioses between new social practices, technological progress and sustainable local development through their needs-based approach. In the Federal Ministry of Education and Research funded project "Wirtschaftsförderung 4.0", it became apparent that the targeted promotion of sustainability-oriented innovation actors can be quite effective. The HIDDEN project is directly (and logically) based on this project and makes an important contribution to the systematic recording of "Hidden Sustainability Champions".
The project participants have chosen a new approach to this: both conceptually, by focusing on (societal) sustainability innovations and the associated theoretical and practical further development as well as an adapted concept of structural weakness, and methodologically, by using innovation biographies that ensure a systemic view of innovations – beyond a technological consideration.