Social Innovation is considered relevant to face the "great challenges" faced by contemporary societies. Social innovation requires a commitment to solving social problems, involves different actors and interactions, and combines diverse knowledge to introduce solutions with manageable, if not predictable, long-term results. Universities are rich in resources that can be mobilized to contribute to solving social problems if they are actively involved in social innovation processes.
The main objective of the SUISIA project is to analyse the degree of involvement of Spanish universities in social innovation activities. It will be explored if they actively participate in social innovation practices and whether they incorporate social innovation as part of their strategies, decisions, structures, incentives and way of operating. Through primary sources of information (face-to-face interviews and online surveys of managers, teachers and students) we will also identify the context, barriers and facilitating elements. In this sense, the SUISIA project aims to support the modernisation of the governance, management and functioning of Spanish universities, as well as to contribute to the updating and improvement of teaching and learning methodologies.
The project will be developed by a multidisciplinary and international team with extensive research experience in the areas of Education, Psychology, Sociology, Technology and Innovation, Management, Quality Assessment and Pedagogical Approaches, and with a national and international reputation. Its members have experience in national and international research projects. In addition, some of the team members also have extensive experience in planning and managing research and the university's interactions with society.
The project aims to provide new knowledge of scientific and social interest, as its results can help universities to create the right conditions for the academic community to be actively and efficiently involved in social innovation processes, regional governments to design appropriate policies to promote them and social agents to identify how they can count on the university in these processes.
Within the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (2013-2020), the project is framed within objective IV (Research oriented to the challenges of society) and, within it, aims to contribute to challenge 6 (Social Science and Humanities, Science with and for Society). Both for its objectives and methodologies, as for the composition of the work team and the expected results, the project can also contribute to the general objectives of that strategy, specifically, to objectives of knowledge transfer and internationalization, and contribute to the training of PhD.
Proyecto RTI2018-101722-B-I00 financiado por FEDER / Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación – Agencia Estatal de Investigación.