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"Social innovation is an engine of development and equity that allows us to find new answers, more effective and efficient, to the main challenges of our society. A good ecosystem of social innovation can enable that successful innovations stop being local anecdotes and being implemented on a large scale. " (COTEC Report, 2017)

On June 12th, Cotec Report 2017 was presented by the Cotec Foundation in Madrid. Every year since 1996, this foundation has published a report in which studies, opinions and proposals necessary to make innovation a real driver of economic and social change in Spain are presented.

In this 2017 edition, the Cotec report, in its chapter 4, seeks to analyze to what extent an ecosystem that enables social innovations in all its social spheres, from health and education to employment and social cohesion, is a reality in Spain.
In addition to the four indicators analyzed in the Social Innovation Index presented in September 2016 by The Economist Intelligence Unit (Policy and institutional framework: Financing; Entrepreneurship; Society), the report incorporates, on the one hand, the demand for innovation by the public administrations; On the other hand, the analysis of the intra-entrepreneurship culture; And finally, the analysis of the availability of private investment and financing mechanisms for social innovation.

In this sense, the report shows the low performance of Spain (see figure 2) in all the dimensions analyzed to measure the capacity for social innovation and notes the need to promote a more active role of public administrations in boosting Social innovation in Spain. The report also makes it clear that "the development of public policies and programs based on successful social innovations is the most effective and efficient way to solve a full social challenge."

In spite of the initiatives at the regional or municipal level, Spain does not have an explicit and well-articulated social innovation policy that allows the creation of a political framework more conducive to social innovation at state level.

In this sense, from the reading of the report, a set of challenges can be identified in order to build in Spain a real ecosystem for social innovation. Some of these challenges are

Ø  Designing a modern and ambitious policy of social innovation

Ø  Creating systems for the gathering and publication of open data, the systematic measurement of public policies and projects, as well as the transparency and processing of these data. These axes are essential to promote an innovative ecosystem.

  • Promoting an entrepreneurship culture, open to experimentation, inside the Public Administrations.
  • Working, both in the supply of social innovation and in “the explicit and effective demand” of social innovation.
  • Boosting the creation of diverse financing mechanisms, hybrid mechanism (private and public) that are provided with resources to support the process of social innovations in all the steps.
  • Supporting social innovation through fiscal, legal and public procurement measures.

In order to have a deeply knowledge of Social Innovation in Spain, read the report in Spanish at: Informe Cotec 2017

About Cotec Foundation

The Cotec Foundation for Innovation is a private non-profit organization with the mission of promoting innovation as an engine of economic and social development. Cotec has about 90 trustees, including private companies and regional and local administrations. King Philip VI is the President of Honor. Since 2001, Cotec has obtained an international dimension thanks to the creation of Cotec Italia and Cotec Portugal in 2003.  

In 2015, Cotec decided to increase its challenges in order to become a real agent of change that supports the development of the Spanish economy through a broader concept of innovation. Focusing on innovation as an economic catalyst as well as expanding the research to new areas of interest such as social innovation, innovation in education or the financing of the innovation are current challenges for the foundation.

For more information, visit: Cotec España

About: The Social Innovation Index of The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Social Innovation Index developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit aims to measure the ability of a country to create a conducive and stimulating environment for social innovation based on four pillars:

Ø  The political and institutional framework;

Ø  The experimentation and development of social innovations;

Ø  The level of entrepreneurship, and especially the predisposition to take risks;

Ø  The robustness and depth of civil society.

Social Innovation Index