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Social innovation parks

The Social Innovation Park being developed by DennokInn in the Basque Country is the world's first experiment in creating a 'social silicon valley'.  They are creating a business park for social enterprises and co-operatives. The park will include start-ups, regional and governmental organisations, and charitable foundations. Research and development needs will be met by the creation of a school for social innovation. The organisation’s head, Carlos Fernandez, hopes that the park will ‘attract and nurture new talent that will develop models, methods and tools for social innovation.’

This project is located in Santurtzi, (the Great Bilbao area of northern Spain) and is supported by the local authorities and the Spanish Government with an initial budget of €6 million. For the first time, third Sector organizations, charities, NGOs and businesses focused on social innovation will have the opportunity to work together, learn from each other and develop new joint enterprises in a highly innovative environment.

The Social Innovation Park will host more than 50 international companies and associations. It will also host the first ‘Social Enterprise Generator’, enabling those in receipt of employment and social security benefits to work for the park’s enterprises without losing their benefits and; Southern Europe’s first ‘Social Innovation Laboratory’, providing the opportunity for those based in the park to work together to generate new social enterprises that will be incubated in the park, with access to training, mentoring and evaluation in the process. Specific training for upgrading the quality of services for third sector institutions, organisations and enterprises will also be available, in the form of a ‘Social Innovation Academy’.