This week signals the start of work on the development of a major new venture to encourage and support social and public service innovation in Scotland.
Investigation into the development of a Centre for Social Innovation in Scotland is being taken forward by Social Value Lab in partnership with the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University.
Work on the initiative is being driven by the need to find more effective solutions to the big social challenges facing Scotland, and to address the associated pressures on its public services.
Once fully operational it is envisaged that the Centre will deliver a programme of research, events, and developmental work that will bring forward new service solutions. The emphasis will be in tapping into the ideas and business models being developed within the third sector and to apply these more broadly to service challenges.
Commenting on the intended focus of the Centre, Jonathan Coburn (Director of the Social Value Lab) commented:
“For me it’s about creating the time and space for social innovation to flourish. It’s about bringing people together from different disciplines to come up with creative solutions to shared problems – academic researchers, service designers, social entrepreneurs, public service leaders, technologists, and investors.”
Commenting on the importance of the collaboration, Dominic Chalmers (Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School) said:
“The Hunter Centre has a long-standing interest in supporting social entrepreneurship and innovation. We view this as a highly significant opportunity to focus all of the Universities resources and disciplines towards a defined set of social challenges. This will be truly applied and collaborative research delivered in partnership with public and third sector partners.”
The current design phase of the venture is being supported up to May 2012 by innovation funding from the Scottish Funding Council.
If you would like to contribute to the design phase of the project you can email Jonathan Coburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.