Knowledge and Innovation has, as its objective, that of contributing through its basic and applied research to the generation of new knowledge on contemporary societies and the transformations taking place within them. In doing so, it intends to promote an overall strengthening of social science capacities to interpret such processes of change, to understand how they are evolving over time, and to investigate available options and tools for their effective management.

Knowledge and Innovation was established by a group of sociologists and social scientists, who wanted to capitalise on their common research program on the evolution and governance of the society begun in the late 1970s (Activities section).

The activities of Knowledge and Innovation are carried out in Italy, in Europe and at the international level, adopting an interdisciplinary approach that includes all levels of social research: epistemological, theoretical and methodological.

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

In July 2018, Knowledge and Innovation received Special Consultative Status from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.