PROPORTION PROJECT – Prototyping an Indicator Framework on System Innovation


In this project, the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges (UUGLOBE) and EIT Climate-KIC Transitions Hub are utilizing knowledge assets of the TIP Mobile Transformative Innovation Lab (MoTIL) from TIPC, and the Deep Transitions research project to develop an indicator framework for transformative system change.

 When working towards transformative system change, one of the key challenges is finding evidence as to whether and how transformation is actually taking place. The Transformative Outcomes, as defined by Ghosh et al. (TIPCWP2020-02), offer Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) agencies a guide to evaluate and reformulate their projects, programmes and policies to maximise their transformative potential.

However, the TIPC methodology, as currently tested in the MOTION project is based on the Multi-level Perspective which focusses on the transformative potential of a single socio technical system (e.g. food, energy provision, healthcare etc.). Multi-niche and multi-system interactions remain neglected, yet need to be considered in approaches that aim to affect many systems simultaneously, such as portfolio and Deep Demonstrations approaches.

Responding to this research gap, the PROPORTION project strives to co-design a prototype indicator framework on system innovation that will focus on the exploration of possible indicators for measuring and tracking transformative changes in multiple systems.

Activities include:

  • Co-designing a prototype of an indicator framework for measuring and tracking systemic change and transformation
  • Application of indicators as part of a guide that operationalises transformative system change
  • Supporting existing experiments on system mapping processes and analysis through knowledge management, data science and communication-related processes
  • A review of indicators based on complex systems theory

The working plan is aimed at strategically combining the experiences and capacities of the EIT Climate-KIC Transitions Hub on the science-policy-practice and the knowledge assets and current developments led by the TIP Mobile Transformation Hub (MoTIL) as well as the Deep Transitions research project in the field of system innovation and transformation. The indicator framework is set out to be delivered in December 2020.