Franche-Comté is one of the few French regions to address social innovation.  rally'nov is a pilot regional campaign backed by the French Government to identify, develop and promote socially innovative initiatives from businesses and associations.  It aims to expand the network of participants involved in social innovation and promote the skills development of company stakeholders, associations and institutional players in the field of social innovation.

It particularly focuses on social innovation insofar as it improves the quality of life at work and takes "business performance" into consideration especially in the private sector. Innovation refers to new practices with new benefits in organizations which transform and improve the quality of life of a group of individuals, the population of a region or employees of a company. 

It begins with the premise that unlike technical innovation, social innovation is naturally less valued in business. Yet socially innovative practices are regularly implemented without necessarily being explained or recognized. With rally'nov, all the networks, both technological and social solidarity, are mobilized to identify these socially innovative practices and their value. 

rally'nov looks at social innovation as a new response to a social need in relation to health, employment, working conditions, mobility, engagement, cohesion. It is applicable to individuals, groups of individuals or a wider population and includes new practices, new products and new services. It improves the quality of life (at work or outside work) and may also have direct or indirect impacts on economic, environmental and social aspects of people’s lives. It requires risk taken investment as well as democratic and participatory approaches.

Having established a definition of social innovation within the 25 participants representing the main regional partners, checkpoints on social innovation were established and shared. Guidelines for analyzing social innovation were developed and a platform provided for participants to demonstrate their ‘good practice’, the best being recognized with an award. 

rally'nov was highly successful in engaging with potential partners. In all 59 companies/associations were represented and shared their social innovation experiences. In addition, the initiative provided practical and analytical tools, advice and fact sheets, and examples of best business practices. Video streams are available on www.rallynov.fr

To build on the success of the inaugural event, the State and the Regional Council are to undertake a second rally'nov in 2014 with three new partners. It will aim to identify 20 new socially innovative initiatives, disseminate and promote their good practices through the dedicated website and, once again, celebrate their success at a closing award ceremony.

rally’nov is led by FACT, the Franche-Comté Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions (FACT): www.fact.aract.fr

More information: s.journoud@anact.fr