Through its basic and applied research programme, Knowledge and Innovation aims to contribute to the generation of new knowledge about contemporary societies and the transformations taking place within them. In doing so, it aims to promote a general strengthening of the social sciences’ capacity to interpret ongoing processes of change, to understand how they evolve over time, and to explore the options and tools available for their effective management.

Knowledge and Innovation was established by a group of sociologists and social scientists wishing to capitalise on their joint research programme on the evolution and governance of society, which began in the late 1970s (see Activities section).

The activities of Knowledge and Innovation are carried out in Italy, Europe and internationally, with an interdisciplinary approach that includes all levels of social research: epistemological, theoretical and methodological.

Knowledge and Innovation is also active in areas related to research, such as training and capacity building, networking and scientific communication, evaluation and technical assistance, consultancy and support for the implementation of public policies.

In July 2018, Knowledge and Innovation was granted Special Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).