Minister O’Donovan welcomes first Public-Service wide Innovation Week
The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD today (24 October 2019) announced 18 successful projects supported by funding of over €500,000 under the new Public Service Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is an initiative under the Our Public Service framework – the overall strategy for development and innovation in the Public Service.
Public servants were invited to make applications to the competitive fund which aims to support innovative ideas and projects from across public service organisations. Announcing the Fund winners, Minister Donohoe said, “The high level of interest in this competitive fund demonstrates the willingness of public bodies to reshape work practices and how we deliver services. It is encouraging to see such diversity in the types of projects being put forward. Innovative thinking is happening all over Ireland, in all sectors of the Public Service and at all levels within organisations.”
“We are engaging through the Fund and through our Innovation Network with public servants who are actively contributing to a culture of innovation in their organisations and we want to support them.”
“Some applicants proposed new collaborations, others are examining how new technologies can be applied to existing problems in their organisations. The common factor is a desire to add value to their organisations and create better services and outcomes for the public.”
Projects funded include:
- A youth personal development programme in a secondary school in Kildare;
- Innovative redesign of an occupational therapy rehabilitation facility;
- Development of an App to simplify capturing the impacts of climate events and trends;
- The development of a programme on mobility solutions across the four Dublin local authorities;
- Hackathons in An Garda Síochána to look at organisational challenges and technology for policing;
- Sensors on ringbuoys to address the issues caused by lost or stolen buoys; and
- A project to create child distraction spaces in the courts.
(More detailed information on each of the 18 funded projects is contained in the Notes to Editors section)
Minister Donohoe continued, “The range of projects supported here are an inspiring glimpse into the scale and breadth of our public services. We are living in a period of fast-paced global change and with an ever increasing succession of complex challenges facing Ireland and our Public Service. It is therefore crucial that our Public Service continues to prioritise innovation and that we enable our Public Servants across all sectors to effectively respond to these challenges.”
The 2020 call for funding will be launched in December 2019. Full details of the scheme are available on www.ops2020.gov.ie
The first Public Service-wide Innovation Week was also announced today and will take place from the 9-13th December 2019. Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State for Open Government and eGovernment, said, “For the first time ever we will have an innovation week across all sectors of the Public Service this year. All Public Service Organisations have been asked to place a concentrated focus on innovation within their organisations for that week.
“Organisations may wish to run their own innovation weeks, organise innovation events, collaborate on initiatives or invite speakers to discuss aspects of innovation. The main goal is to create an awareness of, and convey the imperative to find new and better ways of doing our work and delivering for society.”
In addition to the initiatives mentioned, a Public Service Innovation Network has been established to support the development of a culture of innovation across the Public Service. The Network will also form a mechanism to build skills in innovation and to provide the tools and resources to members.