Social innovation will help

A special application for seniors, a modern slimming program for people with disabilities or an online trust chat - these are just some of the social innovations that passed the first stage of the competition of the Regional Center for Social Policy in Krakow and were added to the list of Lesser Poland Social Innovators. If everything goes according to plan, the creators will have a chance to check their effectiveness in practice in autumn.

Innovative solutions are already great in business, industry or science - now it's time for the social dimension. I am convinced that the ideas selected in the competition can actually help people who are dependent for various reasons - due to illness, disability or old age. I am looking forward to the results of testing these solutions - says Deputy Marshal Wojciech Kozak.

In the competition for social innovations in the field of care services, which was announced by ROPS in Krakow, 36 ideas were submitted in total - of which 15 applications were placed on the strict ranking list, two were on the reserve list. They have the chance to support testing.

What innovations did the originators report? The vast majority of ideas, as much as 23, concerned support for the elderly in their place of residence. Others directed their attention to people with disabilities, including 6 to people with intellectual disabilities. They were added to the ranking list, among others such innovations as poMOST, i.e. an application supporting the independent life of the elderly; Time for activity! - an internet platform for people with intellectual disabilities or an online trust chat. The full ranking list is available on the website

It is worth emphasizing that representatives of non-governmental organizations operating in Lesser Poland submitted their ideas, for which providing care, rehabilitation and supporting the functioning of people with disabilities and seniors are everyday life. Also, many applicants were recruited from representatives of local government units - mainly employees of Social Assistance Centers, poviat Family Assistance Centers and others. Entrepreneurs were another group of applicants, including social economy entities and medical entities.

Interestingly, the largest group of people submitting innovative ideas were, however, natural persons. Often, people directly experiencing disability, dependence or being involved as carers of dependents. It is great that they have made an effort to develop and submit an idea for innovative solutions regarding care and wisely strengthening the activity of dependent people - adds Deputy Marshal Wojciech Kozak.

Importantly, in order to identify the most interesting and indisputably innovative solutions in the field of care services, ROPS in Krakow entrusted the substantive and strategic assessment to an independent body - the Social Innovation Council, composed of experts of various specialties and representing various environments, including universities, local government, the third sector and environment of dependent persons. The Council, after assessments, created a ranking list of projects recommended for implementation and a list of reserve projects.

The "Małopolska Incubator for Social Innovation" project implemented by the Regional Center for Social Policy is co-financed by the Operational Program Knowledge Education Development for the years 2014-2020.

Social innovations in practice