In response to Interpellation 22.4124 Chassot, the Federal Council recognizes the significant role social innovation can play in addressing social challenges, such as demographic change, professional and social integration, and digitalization. The Federal Council emphasizes the importance of social innovation in the multi-year strategic programs of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Innosuisse for the period 2025-28. However, within the context of the FRI 25-28 message concerning the promotion of research and innovation, this demand has not yet been adequately addressed and incorporated.
While it is important to consider and address social and technological challenges and innovations together, it is equally important to recognize that the social component is not seen as a mere consequence of technological innovation. Social innovation is a means on its own in support of social change, and should be encouraged as such.
Given the central importance of social innovations for the implementation of the United Nations' Agenda 21 and the Confederation's 2030 sustainable development strategy, we are calling for the following for the FRI 2025-28 period:
1. the launch of a pilot programme for the promotion of social innovations in Switzerland, providing low-threshold support for civil society players outside existing promotion agencies and serving all levels of government.
2. the establishment of a monitoring system for social innovations in Switzerland, which is robust to international comparisons and on the basis of which social innovations can be identified and their development monitored.
3. evaluation of the programme and possible structural reintegration into existing funding organisations during the subsequent FRI period.
Association position paper (in German only)
Argumentation (in German only)