Werner Wobbe. Employed at the European Commission, Directorate General Research and Innovation

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1 Werner Wobbe Employed at the European Commission, Directorate General Research and Innovation Conference Paper, Call to Europe, September

2 The current European Commission policies are guided by the "Europe 2020" strategy under which seven mayor policy flagship initiatives for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy have been formulated. Innovation and growth is at the core of that policy. The "Europe 2020" strategy 1 adopts a broad approach to innovation, which explicitly includes economic, financial, technological and social innovation. The policy flagship initiative "Innovation Union" 2 contains over thirty action points for innovation and growth with objectives to remove obstacles to innovation like expensive patenting, market fragmentation, slow standard-setting and skills shortages which currently prevent new products entering the marketplace; leverage Europe to compete as a world-class research and science performer; incentivise public and private sectors work together, notably through fostering Innovation Partnerships between the European institutions, national and regional authorities and business. Foster social innovations The newly agreed research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020 will be the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union. 1. How EU policy has developed in view of innovation, social innovation, and growth Beside technological innovation the concept of social innovation has been recognised by the Barroso II Commission ( ) expressed by its lead policy document "Europe 2020". Social innovation is seen as an instrument to help reaching policy headline targets of smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth by fostering innovation as a cornerstone of the European research funding policies Conventionally we distinct between "invention" as the discovery of new technical knowledge and its practical application to industry and "innovation" as the introduction of new technical methods, products, and forms of industrial organization. Both forms contribute to economic growth and to competitiveness. The more globalisation of the economy catches the awareness of politics the more the competitiveness issue has come into the forefront. While technology and inventions traditionally have been understood as its main source, in the last years, innovation and its social dimension became prominent. Following Schumpeter's, notion of "disrupting economic change" 3 the social 1 European Commission 2010a, EUROPE A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, COM(2010) 2020 final, 2 European Commission 2010b, Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative: Innovation Union, SEC(2010) 1161; 3 Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, 1911; 2., überarbeitete Ausgabe

3 dimension of innovation has caught a lot of attention. It is a concern of politics as it has a destructive dimension to old industries and jobs. However, it also offers prospects for new industries, economic growth and it requires reforms, institutional and structural changes. 2. The changing notion of social policy and the understanding of social innovation Over the last years we also have witnessed a change in the notion of social policies at European level which is closely connected to the idea of social innovation. Europe has only weak competences in social policies in the sense of social aid. However, social policy commitments on employment, vocational education, cohesion, etc. clearly exist. Probably by that fact of the social dimension has seen quite an evolvement of its notion in policy documents from social aid to social inclusion: from social inclusion to empowering people and driving change; from technological innovation to social innovation, and from competitiveness to societal challenges. The social dimension was identified as a crucial element of economic development and growth via activities for social innovation. Social innovation has been defined in the European Commission context as innovations that are social in both their ends and their means. Specifically, [...] new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations. They are innovations that are not only good for society but also boost society s capacity to act. 4 Innovation has been a key concept of the European Social Fund since the launch of the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme in 2000, an initiative that supported social innovation in the fields of social inclusion and employment. Consequently, innovation and partnership have become prominent in the European Social Fund (ESF), and innovative programmes have helped to increase the effectiveness of a number of social policies. 3. Horizon 2020 and the Framework programme for research and innovation The 'Innovation Union flagship initiative' 5 deals chiefly with smart and sustainable growth. Innovation, entrepreneurship and the knowledge-based society is the core of this European flagship initiative. The concept of innovation includes social and societal dimensions like business models, design, marketing, services, public sector involvement, and stakeholder relationships. 4 BEPA, Empowering People, Driving Change: Social Innovation in the European Union, May 2010, p

4 In this view, it abandons the innovation notion restricted to science and technology: it allows a notion to social innovation that applies to a range of sectors in economy and society. The document 'Horizon 2020' 6, the framework programme for research and innovation for the next seven years, specifies areas to be addressed by research and innovation. 'Horizon 2020' is the financial instrument implementing the 'Innovation Union' aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an 70.2 billion budget, the EU s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. The suggested support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 by the Trialogue Agreement will: Strengthen the EU s position in science with a dedicated budget of 22.3 billion. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe; Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation 15.5 billion. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs; Provide billion to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans seen as societal challenges. The objective is to combat these challenges and to develop new and convincing solutions to today s important societal problems: Health, demographic change and wellbeing Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy Secure, clean and efficient energy Smart, green and integrated transport Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials Inclusive, innovative societies Secure societies Horizon 2020 will help bridging the gap between research and the market by, for example, helping innovative enterprise to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products and services and foster behavioural or institutional changes for economic growth. 4. Examples of social innovation in FP7 To illustrate the interconnection of social and societal issues with technological ones some examples from the research and innovation domain may be given based on the current Framework Programme 6 4

5 for Research and Technical Development (FP7). The following selected examples illustrate the role of social dimension in technological research and development programmes of FP7: The Health work programme social innovation stretches from new models of child care to webbased social networks, from the provision of domestic healthcare to new ways of encouraging people to exchange cars for bicycles in cities, and the development of global fair-trade chains. For example the call on 'Social Innovation for Health Promotion' supports research aiming at innovative approaches to reduce sedentary behaviour and enhance the level of physical activity in the population; research should address the role and interaction of diverse public and private entities, such as business, including social enterprises, civil society organisations and public authorities. The ICT work programme had a call on 'Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation'. It aimed to stimulate and support the emergence of innovative ICT based platforms for grassroots social innovation, providing new approaches and solutions to tackle societal challenges. The platforms include collective decision-making tools and innovation mechanisms encouraging creativity, participation and situational awareness. The call supports bottom-up social innovation and education initiatives based on crowdsourcing network intelligence principles, carried out by web innovators, research teams, communities and entrepreneurs. The Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnologies work programme had a call on 'Optimising Food Use for Social Innovation'. It aimed at food consumption and waste. The topic aimed deals with patterns and causes of food waste, and provide solutions for policies to use social innovation to benefit families that cannot buy quality food especially since the economic crisis. It addresses multistakeholder platforms comprising, consumer organisations, food services, retailers, NGOs, regulators, food industry, food scientists, etc. to reduce food wastage at household, food service and retail level, and testing of best practices of redistribution. 5. Conclusion The approach to economic growth supporting social policy objectives expressed in European Union headline targets set out in the document 'Europe 2020' has developed over the last years. Innovation is seen not just as a technical issue but as a social as well. Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth shall be fostered as well by social innovations as outlines in the 'Innovation Union'. 5

6 Call to Europe III An event organised by With the support of

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