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Innovation for the nation hub established


The National School of Government’s Sunningdale Institute has set up an innovation hub to develop know-how on stimulating and supporting fresh ideas in government and the public services.

The aim is for the hub to provide a focal point for public innovation across Whitehall and play a galvanising role in developing the channels and behaviours in government that will support the flow of innovative practice.

The Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) is funding the hub following the publication of its White Paper Innovation Nation earlier this year. The paper called for the hub to be created as a new partnership of organisations “to capture and disseminate learning about public sector innovation”.

The Whitehall innovation hub will carry out research and consultancy, network formation and active learning events for departmental leaders, develop corporate mechanisms that will help incentivise innovation, and look to international government interventions that seek to support more innovative government.

This will include working with Sunningdale Institute fellows – an impressive network of academics, consultants and former senior civil servants – to provide active support across the wider public service system.

Science and innovation minister Ian Pearson said: “Innovation in the public services will be essential to meeting the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

“The Whitehall hub for innovation will clearly have an important role to play in building a better understanding of how government can empower front line workers to innovate in response to the expectations of the public.”

Whitehall innovation hub director Su Maddock added: “The innovation hub will help find more innovative ways of addressing the big-cross-cutting challenges like social care and climate change by building bridges between those in public services and in Whitehall who want to make a difference.

“Innovation in the public sector is about relationships, connections and collaboration with all those in the value or delivery chain.”

Whitehall innovation hub partners include the National School of Government’s Sunningdale Institute, NESTA’s Public Innovation Laboratory, the Design Council and DIUS.


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