TRUST - Social innovation sTRategies for sUSTainability transitions

Cofinanciado por:
Acronym | TRUST
Project title | TRUST - Social innovation sTRategies for sUSTainability transitions
Project Code | PTDC/GES-AMB/28591/2017
Main objective | Reforçar a Investigação, o desenvolvimento tecnológico e a inovação

Region of intervention | Centro, Lisboa, Alentejo

Beneficiary entity |
  • Associação do Instituto Superior Técnico para a Investigação e o Desenvolvimento (Sigla: IST-ID) (líder)
  • Universidade de Aveiro(parceiro)
  • Universidade de Évora(parceiro)

Approval date | 23-03-2018
Start date | 01-09-2018
Date of the conclusion | 31-08-2021
Date of extension | 28-02-2022

Total eligible cost | 233641 €
European Union financial support |
National/regional public financial support | República Portuguesa - 233641 €

Objectives, activities and expected/achieved results


The overall objective of TRUST is to explore the enabling conditions for sustainability transition(ST) initiatives, the extent to which such transitions support social innovation (SI) and the role of SI in generating transformative change, through actors' networks and agents of change. The key research ideas build on ongoing research projects that explore the transformative potential of ST(eg TRANSIT,ARTS,GUST,TESS,SINGOCOM or TURAS). Social learning and innovation are important factors in transformative process for building social-ecological resilience [WeAn10],[West13]. In TRUST focus is on ST initiatives, supported by SI, that drive transformative change in social-ecological systems(SES). The long-term target is to contribute to create locally based networks for ST and SI strategies to enable change in approaches, routines, practices and mind-sets to create transformation for sustainable driven societies.


To achieve intended objectives, research strategy follows a participatory research and multi-actor approach with inductive reasoning to make broad generalizations based on the specific observation of existing ST initiatives. The conditions that enabled success, in urban and rural social-ecological contexts, will be studied and explored in case studies to learn institutional, political and social patterns in governance systems that enabled transitions. A conceptual model and an analytical framework will apply in experiential pilot cases-social innovation labs, with local actors, exploring role of actors' networks and agents of change in enhancing SI. Three universities in Aveiro, Évora and Lisbon are partners with complementary skills on community development knowledge-brokerage, governance, SES, SI, resilience, strategic assessments, strategies for sustainability, capacitybuilding, multi-actor policy and urban and rural territorial planning. Each partner contributes to both conceptual and empirical dimensions through participatory research in small scale communities in Aveiro, Évora and Lisbon. Coherence and the integrity is ensured by TRUST governance structure and methodology, with integrated involvement of all partners in co-creation of research inputs and outcomes.


The expected results of the project include improved capacities, knowledge networks and innovative governance systems to enhance self-governance and actors' collaborative networks, a conceptual framework to help create locally based ST, SI strategies road map for sustainable transitions governance, a booklet with profile and small stories of agents of change, and a map of actors' network locally engaged.