Social Innovation Projects

Objective: supporting the emergence of projects that can enhance the Social Innovation Connector offering.

5 emerging projects focusing on the city (Urban Forum), public health (Cassiopée Platform), e-health (Virtual Health), social innovation (CRISALIDH) and culture (UBIC) were supported.

Society is evolving and the region is in motion. There are numerous transformations under way in healthcare, the use of the city, social and cultural actions, etc. Social and Human Sciences (SHS) are valuable tools to understand these transformations and enlighten decision-makers and citizens.

Through its Initiative of Excellence, the University of Bordeaux intends to support these transformations by promoting the emergence of social innovation projects.



Antoine Blanchard
Digital project manager

Tel : 05 40 00 67 74


The city and metropolization: Urban Forum

Objective: supporting the transformation of urban spaces, of their governance and of their uses. How? By using academic skills and knowledge for the benefit of those who create the city and and live in it: decision-makers, professionals, NGOs, city dwellers and users.

The Urban Forum is a social innovation project launched by Sciences Po Bordeaux within the framework of the Initiative of Excellence of the University of Bordeaux. It involves some forty researchers from 5 different laboratories and disciplines (economics, geography, land use planning, history, political science, sociology and psychology), focusing on a common subject: the city.

The Urban Forum's objective is to become a site of reference on urban issues: facilitating access to research data and the available offering in terms of education, studies and expertise.
Its activities revolve around three key facilities:

  • the hub, to put together proposals for research, expertise, context assessment and highlighting of urban/metropolitan issues, in connection with regional players
  • the playground, to provide professional experience to students studying urban issues, via group projects based on "real" orders
  • the explorer, to feed public debate on urban issues via research-promoting initiatives and forward-looking regional measures

The Urban Forum may also offer continuing education programs on metropolitan issues, and form the basis of a future Master's Degree in multi-disciplinary urban research.


Sciences Po Bordeaux

11 allée Ausone - Domaine Universitaire
33607 PESSAC

Aurélie Couture
Project manager


Public health: Cassiopée Platform

Objective: gaining better understanding of the region, its population, its health issues; assessing the impact of prevention and healthcare actions; assessing healthcare pathways and tools to facilitate decision-making.

How ? By stimulating exchanges between fieldworker requirements and scientific knowledge, by comparing the viewpoints of different disciplines on an issue and by maximizing the use of public health databases.

Created on the initiative of the Fédération de recherche Santé publique, société (FR SPS – Research Federation on Public Health and Society) within the University of Bordeaux, the Cassiopée Platform is a social innovation project supported by IdEx Bordeaux. It is backed by a network of over 200 public health researchers from various research bodies (CNRS, Inserm), higher education institutions, as well as Aquitaine healthcare establishments. These researchers are internationally recognized in numerous fields such as epidemiology, applied mathematics, humanities, economics, social sciences, clinical investigation and healthcare.

Acting as a flexible and collaborative interface, the Cassiopée Platform aims to increase understanding of health issues, support the development and implementation of effective healthcare policies and improve responses to current challenges (population aging and dependency, chronicity of disorders, health paths, health determinants, health inequalities between social groups and regions, etc.).

The platform aims to provide translational research in the health of populations, i.e. the translation of advances stemming from public health research (epidemiology, clinical research, human and social science research) into initiatives liable to improve public health.

Its management team promotes exchanges between and for its members by organizing discussion meetings, participating in research networks and collaborative workspaces involving various public-health institutions and stakeholders on research topics and common-interest initiatives, and making the most of the research carried out by the members of the platform.

By fostering such contacts, the management team promotes the defining and development of priority research focuses coming within the scope of translational research in public health.

Its support consists in:

  • assistance with the formulation of appropriate research questions, in keeping with the public health priorities of the various institutions (Aquitaine regional health agency, university hospital, Regional Council, Departmental Councils, national health authority and private health insurance firms, local authorities, data producers and users, etc.) and organizations
  • collecting available data and providing assistance to draft research protocols and to carry out regulatory procedures;
  • monitoring interactions between researchers and those in charge of public health operations
  • and, if necessary, actively collecting data and making use of statistics

The Cassiopée Platform thus helps to improve knowledge and contributes to the exchange of available information on public health in Aquitaine. It has a database of existing public health information in Aquitaine and provides assistance for requests to access public health data, subject to current legal requirements.

In mid-2015, the Cassiopée Platform was already supporting or running 12 translational research projects creating links between institutional/operational players and researchers in public health.

Contact the platform if your project meets the following criteria:

  • your request and your query concern priority issues for the FR SPS (Research Federation on Public Health and Society), the AR, the Regional Council, or other partners
  • it concerns Aquitaine
  • emphasis is placed on interactions between various disciplines
  • the response provided aims to help decision-making in the field of public health, enables researchers to highlight and publish their work, and enables teachers to enhance existing study programs


ISPED Epidémiologie et Biostatistique

Viviane Ramel
Project coordinator


Cassiopée is an ambitious project with major implications. It's a research and evaluation tool designed to help all players in their decision-making, by facilitating access to the range of existing data.

It is set to be an essential tool to help us:

  • create the dynamics to roll out the Regional Health Project (PRS) in a concrete, cross-cutting way, by giving priority to preventive approaches, the organizing of primary healthcare and home care,
  • define the local areas (infra-territories of healthcare) in which the PRS will be carried out, whenever the planning requires a smaller scale than that of the healthcare region or territory (organizing of the healthcare paths to get a better grasp of the interfaces between the home, medico-social units/services, healthcare establishments, and prevention players),
  • identify healthcare areas or project territories, in particular in regions where specific difficulties have been identified in terms of the population's health status, access to care and prevention (example: prevalence of a disease, specific social and regional characteristics, shortcomings in the existing offering).

Cassiopée should increase our knowledge on all of these aspects, making it possible to take the appropriate decisions to address the health system's challenges (in particular the reduction of ?social, geographical and financial inequalities in terms of access to healthcare, and the regional disparities in terms of care and service offering), within the scope of a regional approach involving local players.

Michel Laforcade
Director General of the Aquitaine Regional Health Agency (ARS)

Regional Social Innovation: CRISALIDH

Objective: promoting the success of social innovation projects undertaken by regional institutions and civil society players. How? By becoming established as a resource center mainly focused on rural areas and medium-sized towns.

Backed by the Émile Durkheim Center, CRISALIDH (the Resource Center for Social Innovation in Local Actions and Initiatives for Human Development) brings together some forty researchers stemming from eight laboratories of the Initiative of Excellence of the University of Bordeaux, covering a large spectrum of social and human sciences.

Targeting rural areas and medium-sized towns, its activities revolve around five objectives:

  • promoting a broader vision of social innovation covering all social issues and practices
  • characterizing the processes and contents of social innovations emerging in these areas by jointly mobilizing stakeholders and researchers
  • providing local players with resources (data, analysis tools, research results, methodologies, expertise, etc.) facilitating their social innovation procedures
  • increasing the visibility of their social innovations
  • stimulating research in Social and Human Sciences (SHS)to promote collaborative, trans-disciplinary social development

What is social innovation?

While the term is very trendy, social innovation is, for many people, a vague notion which varies according to approaches, contexts and stakeholders. However, several definitions of social innovation coincide concerning its function of responding to an aspiration or need which is new or not well catered for, its participative process, its regional dimension, and its end goal which is wellbeing, as illustrated by the definition adopted by the Conseil régional d’Aquitaine (Aquitaine Regional Council) within the scope of its policy to support social innovation.

CRISALIDH is the partner of all decision-makers in rural areas and medium-sized towns who want to promote social innovation. CRISALIDH also supports the international scientific cooperation procedure set up by the University of Bordeaux with Euskampus(Sinnergiak social innovation center based in San Sebastían - Donostia) and being finalized with Québec (Université Laval and Université du Québec à Montréal).


Centre Emile Durkheim
Xabier Itçaina
Scientific coordinator

Luc Paboeuf
Projects manager

Pierre CAMANI, Président du Conseil Départemental de Lot-et-Garonne, Sénateur de Lot-et-Garonne© Departmental Council of Lot-et-Garonne

Capitalizing on experiences and securing the means to irrigate, based on a transfer of practices rooted in scientific analysis, seems essential to me. […] I would like the Departmental Council to contribute to the success of CRISALIDH by actively participating in the link-up of local players, social needs and innovative practices.

Pierre Camani
President of the Departmental Council of Lot-et-Garonne, Senator of Lot-et-Garonne

E-health: Virtual Health

Objective: optimizing patient diagnostics, healthcare and rehabilitation, as well as the training of doctors, through electronic tools. How? By bringing together and making use of cross-cutting skills in the fields of virtual reality and simulation, for the benefit of health professionals, healthcare institutions and industrialists in the e-health sector.

Virtual Health is a social innovation project of the Initiative of Excellence of the University of Bordeaux, backed by the Sleep, Attention and Neuropsychiatry Laboratory (USR SANPSY) CNRS / University of Bordeaux, based in Bordeaux' Pellegrin Hospital.

It is open to Bordeaux researchers of all disciplines focusing on medical, technological, social or economic issues connected with virtual reality and simulation applied to diagnostics, healthcare, rehabilitation and training.

Virtual Health offers a unique range of services and high added value technology components, via its specialized facilities (CAVE® immersive room, flight simulator, full-scale driving simulator, animated conversational agents, Unity development environment, etc.) and its scientific skills, particularly in the following fields:

  • Computer synthesized images and virtual environments
  • Man-machine interfaces (multi-touch, Kinect, etc.) and brain-computer interfaces
  • Immersive virtual reality technology
  • Artificial intelligence and animated conversational agents
  • Sociology and communication study of ICT and virtual environments
  • Evaluation of learning and the transfer of knowledge in a real environment


EquipEx Phenovirt

Pierre Gilfriche
Project manager


With Virtual Health, the University of Bordeaux is getting ready for increasingly active and efficient collaboration with companies in the e-health sector. We appreciate finding relevant experts on site, as well as useful resources and opportunities to make optimum use of Bordeaux research.

Our common goal is to develop new products and services on a market where innovation is crucial. The first collaborative project is thus under way between Interaction Healthcare and the SANPSY laboratory.

Jérôme LELEU,
President of Interaction Healthcare

Culture, creative industries and territories: UBIC

Objective: assisting cultural and creative industry players in the design, implementation and evaluation of their projects. How? By providing assistance with project management, training, and the design of cultural data.

UBIC is a social innovation project launched by the Bordeaux Montaigne University within the scope of the Initiative of Excellence of the University of Bordeaux. Backed by the TELEM EA 4195 team, it develops an inter-disciplinary approach involving some thirty researchers and lecturer-researchers stemming from 7 SHS laboratories in Bordeaux.

Download UBIC's brochure.

As a meeting place of the cultural world and the academic world, UBIC aims to provide professionals in the sector(designers, operators, public players, etc.) with academic knowledge and know-how in three key areas, which are at the heart of the major transformations in cultural projects and policies:

  • the regionalization of cultural projects and policies
  • the evaluation of cultural projects and policies, in particular within the scope of European procedures
  • cultural policy training for French-speaking managers

This procedure rests on 3 main measures:

  • the design of data (stemming from fieldworkers or regional players) to format the information, good practices, and existing knowledge in order to promote their dissemination and appropriation;
  • the broadening and diversification of training methods;
  • providing support to project initiators (assistance with project management, co-production, etc.).

UBIC also aims to enhance the employability of cultural Master's Degree students in Bordeaux universities. To this effect, the social innovation project is tasked with coordinating tutored projects and contracts offering students (during or after their graduation) the possibility of working in the socio-economic sphere and gaining experience.


Bordeaux Montaigne University

Laetitia Devel

Alexandre Peraud

Our "territories" are confronted with major social, financial and political changes. As a university lecturer as well as a culture professional, I recognize the added value of UBIC as an interface between researchers and territorial players, whether local or international. This added value is of course materialized as knowledge, which is a specificity of academic research, but also as support to be provided. And this "joint effort" rests on a principle of reciprocity, as it will no doubt feed our own research. Lastly, this capacity to mobilize lecturer-researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students, as well as students in our academic programs, will improve this last group's knowledge through encounters with "fieldworkers", and thus facilitate their entry into the professional world

François Pouthier,
Director of the Cultural Agency of Gironde (IDDAC) and associate professor at the Bordeaux Montaigne University.

5 emerging projects supported 20 research laboratories involved 1 to 2 years of support feasibility phase
Zoom ...
The Eva TSN project

The Cassiopée Platform put together the bid that won the call for projects launched by the Health Care Directorate General (DGOS) to evaluate the uses and impact of the national program "Digital Health Care Territory" (TSN), and is currently participating in its implementation. Deployed in five pilot regions, one of which is Aquitaine, the TSN program aims to introduce organizational changes to the health care system through digital technology (telemedicine, mobile care, etc.). The evaluation, conducted by the Bordeaux university hospital (CHU) and a scientific consortium including several teams from Bordeaux University and Cassiopée Platform, will focus on the implementation of TSN and its results (system quality/safety, organization, health status, use of resources, technology usage, etc.), while offering an evaluation model, which should be reproducible once the TSN program is set up on a large scale.