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S-DIRECT: Social Digital Innovation Research to Empower Communities in Transition

The International Joint Research Group (IJRG) for S-DIRECT combines the expertise of iMinds-SMIT (VUB), UWC (CoLab and academic departments) and the Material and Sensory Cultures of Africa - Study Centre - MASC (UGent) to explore the possibilities of and apply living lab research to foster and facilitate social innovation (projects) for digital inclusion in order to address (community) challenges in South Africa.

The overall aim of the IJRG is to gain insights into how social digital innovation can stimulate social and digital inclusion in disadvantaged communities, and into the role living labs and innovative e-skills initiatives can play in this process.

Each partner contributes from its own domain of expertise. In this regard, iMinds-SMIT excels in research on Living Labs, empowerment and e-inclusion. UWC has expertise in the field of social digital innovation, e-skills, and e-inclusion as well as a good understanding of and relationships within the eco-system such initiatives are aimed at. MASC has expertise in long-term ethnographic research, which is crucial when working in a multicultural context.

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