TWENTY diverse projects have successfully secured funding from this year’s call for ideas under the Public Service Innovation Fund, an initiative of the Our Public Service 2020 reform strategy for development and innovation in the Public Service.
The Fund, which was established in 2019, is a competition designed to support innovative ideas from public service bodies to promote collaboration and new and better approaches to service delivery.
This year’s call saw a total of 279 project proposals received from organisations in all sectors of the Public Service - Civil Service, Defence Forces, Education Sector, Health Sector, Local Government, Justice Sector and Non-Commercial State Agencies.
Announcing the results, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, said: “The Public Service needs to be innovative and agile to effectively respond to the many challenges it faces. We’ve witnessed the enormous innovative capacity of our public service organisations in dealing with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year. This innovation needs to be encouraged and sustained beyond the crisis to ensure Ireland and its citizens thrive into the future.
“We need our Public Service to collaborate with the entire innovation ecosystem including academia and industry to solve some of the more intricate problems we face. We need to embrace enhanced ways of working by adopting new and emerging technologies that will help us design and deliver better and more efficient services for the public. Importantly, we must include people at the centre of our service design to ensure better user outcomes.
“I want to congratulate the project leads receiving funding this year in what is a highly competitive process. The projects clearly demonstrate the willingness of public servants to work together to find better solutions.
“It is imperative that we create value in every public project embarked on, whether in healthcare, our emergency services, digital delivery of public services or education for our young people. The portfolio of projects contains a diverse selection of innovations from around the country and across all sectors of the Public Service.
“Many are collaborative and have demonstrated evidence of their potential to scale and transfer within, and in some cases outside their own sectors. The common factor among all projects funded is the value created for the public, whether it be a patient, student or local business.”
Projects will completed before the end of 2021 with funding awards between €25,000 and €55,000 per project. The 20 successful projects display many types of innovation being employed across all sectors.
The Cork projects are: A remotely operated robotic vehicle to assist Cork City Fire Department in emergency incidents such as leaking hazardous materials, gas leaks, extremely high fire temperatures.
Cork City Council aims to encourage more sustainable travel, particularly with retail deliveries and businesses by establishing a cargo bike fleet ‘library’ where businesses and community groups will be allowed to borrow a bike for six months on a trial scheme to see if a cargo bike can be used on a daily basis as an alternative to other modes of transport.
Cork University Hospital will create a combined automated process for meal ordering and nutrition screening for patients.