Cooperatives, 8 feasibility studies for innovative projects

Cooperatives, 8 feasibility studies for innovative projects

The Italian Ministry for Economic Development financed and published 8 feasibility studies related to “cooperative di comunità” (community cooperatives) in order to promote innovative projects and networks among cooperatives, enhancing a more innovative form of collaboration between public sector and cooperative system. The initiative is conducted within the national program of development and promotion of the cooperative movement (art. 11 law n. 59/92). The studies, carried out by partnerships among different stakeholders, operators, universities and research centers, deal with different sectors, e.g. agriculture, health, community, tourism, and will serve as a model for interested actors.

On the 17th of November 2016 during the event Progetti di frontiera per le cooperative: studi di fattibilità per una collaborazione innovativa fra il sistema pubblico e il movimento cooperativo” the results of the eight studies were presented at the Ministry for Economic Development. LabGov was present at the event, represented by his coordinator Christian Iaione, who was between the discussants.

Hereafter two particularly interesting studies that were presented in this occasion are described, while it is possible to find the complete studies here.

The feasibility study concerning tourism and culture refers to the development of a large cooperative tourism supply chain aiming at the promotion of territories and at increasing audience in the cultural sector. It has been coordinated by CoopCulture in collaboration with Consorzio Beni Culturali Italia, Cooperativa Betania, Cooperativa Atlantide, SireCoop, research centers such as CNR, CISET, IREFORR, Università di Napoli Federico II and many other associations.

The study proposes a new approach and model aiming at:

  • overcoming critical issues related to cultural heritage, which is extremely rich and various but still fragmented and whose value is underestimated also in economic terms
  • improving services related to culture and cultural heritage for a better tourism supply
  • providing cooperatives with useful instruments to strengthen and enhance their productive processes, also in terms of economies of scale
  • promoting a stronger integration with cultural actors and other related sectors, developing a networking approach
  • launching new forms of cooperation with public administrations
  • promoting new cooperatives operating in the supply chain

 

The feasibility study for the development of “cooperative di comunità” has been conducted by Irecoop (Emilia-Romagna Regional Institute for cooperative education) and Lama Development and Cooperation Agency, in collaboration with Italia Consulting Network SpA, Associazione Italiana per la promozione della Cultura della Cooperazione e del Nonprofit – A.I.C.CO.N., Atlante, Euricse- Istituto Europeo di Ricerca sull’Impresa Cooperativa e Sociale, Fondazione Barberini, Università di Tor Vergata.

The study considers the cooperativa di comunità” as a new institutional and economic molecule activating generative processes, thus becoming a key element for local, cohesive and sustainable development of different territories. Even if the term has not an ad hoc juridical definition in Italy, but still refers to ongoing practices, the authors identify these constitutive elements: “in presenza di un territorio in condizioni di vulnerabilità e di un fabbisogno specifico, capace di generare anche un’opportunità imprenditoriale, espresso da una comunità reale (non virtual community) si sviluppa una attività economica finalizzata al perseguimento dello sviluppo comunitario e della massimizzazione del benessere collettivo (non solo dei soci) e non a quello della massimizzazione del profitto”. After having analyzed interesting and successful examples, the study identifies the fundamental conditions to ensure the activity and stability of these specific cooperatives, and to this end it provides useful considerations for policy makers, such as the importance of accompanying the project throughout its development with dedicated instruments and methodologies, providing support and mentoring for capacity building activities, providing a mix of financial instruments especially for social and territorial vulnerable areas.

All the studies investigate the ever-growing phenomenon of collaborative innovation, which needs to be promoted, supported and structured if we want to maximize its impact. This ministerial initiative is a further step in this direction.

The studies can be consulted here. (in Italian).

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Il Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico ha finanziato e pubblicato otto studi di fattibilità per lo sviluppo delle cooperative di comunità, con l’obiettivo di generare nuovi progetti integrati e di filiera tra le imprese cooperative, promuovendo una collaborazione innovativa tra settore pubblico e settore cooperativo.

Gli studi sono replicabili e possono essere presi a modello da altri soggetti interessati che ne condividano le finalità progettuali.

I risultati degli studi sono disponibili sul sito del Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (a questo link).