The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the European Union (EU) through heavy pressure on health services, business activity and people's life. To mitigate these effects, government agencies, civil society and the private sector are working together in proposing innovative initiatives. In this sense, this study aims to characterize and explore the relevance of these projects to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.Design/methodology/approachThe Observatory of Public Sector Innovation provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development was considered to enable the identification and exploration of innovative projects to combat COVID-19. A methodology based on mixed methods is adopted to initially identify quantitatively the distribution of these projects, followed by a qualitative approach based on thematic analysis that allows exploring their relevance.FindingsA total of 206 initiatives in the EU have been identified. The distribution of these projects is quite asymmetric, with Portugal and Austria totaling 33.52% of these projects. Most of these projects focus on the areas of public health, infection detection and control, virtual education, local commerce, digital services literacy, volunteering and solidarity and hackathons.Originality/valueThis work is relevant to identifying and understanding the various areas in which COVID-19 initiatives have been developed. This information is of great relevance for the actors involved in this process to be able to replicate these initiatives in their national, regional and local contexts.
Journal of Enabling Technologies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2021
Keywords: COVID-19; Social entrepreneurship; Technology; Innovation; European Union