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Social Innovation gains worldwide in importance

More and more often national governments recognize the importance of social innovation for societal development.

wire_si_studie Whether in Europe or in other continents, policy-makers increasingly put social innovation on their agendas. Two current examples from Switzerland and Chile illustrate this trend.

In the first case the Swiss National Science Foundation (www.snf.ch) engaged the think tank W.I.R.E. in order to work out a research report about the “Importance of social innovation in Science and Practice”. The focus of this report lays on the question “Why are social innovation increasingly important in society and economy and how can the Swiss National Science Foundation contribute to position the topic in Switzerland”.

The report gives concrete recommendations on how the Swiss science landscape can be sensitized for social innovations and suitable research structures can be created. Furthermore the report focuses on the implementation of sustainable infrastructures for social innovations. The results of the report also base on the conclusions of a workshop of experts in which Prof. Dr. Jürgen Howaldt, director of TU Dortmund University – sfs, took part. The study is available under: http://www.sfs.tu-dortmund.de/cms/Medienpool/small_publications/Soziale_Innovation_Studie_SNF_W_I_R_E_2014.pdf

In Chile, the government currently provides more than 2 million US dollar of subsidies for social innovations. By these funds the Production Development Corporation CORFO (www.corfo.cl) supports small social enterprises that offer solutions for different social problems.

Some time ago TU Dortmund University – sfs focused in a study, supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft www.dfg.de), on social innovation in Chile. An article written on this topic in co-operation with the University of Talca (www.utalca.cl) will be published soon.