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Written Statement - Digital Innovation Fund

Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services

Today I was delighted to launch the Digital Innovation Fund in partnership with Nesta and Cardiff University’s ‘Y Lab’.
Digital has transformed the way in which people live their lives and we need public services in Wales to use digital approaches to transform the way they interact with citizens.
Where we  have seen best practice in this area, it is clear that there is leadership - and a drive for action - from all parts of the Council.  This requires:

  • Political leadership right from the top
  • Administrative leadership, to make the changes happen and stick
  • A clear financial imperative meaning that there was no alternative but to act
We have recently appointed a Chief Digital Officer and, with the Deputy Minister for Skills, I chair a Digital Public Services Working Group, which is driving progress.  There are also many interesting and positive developments across public services in Wales but, from research we carried out earlier this year, we have a way to go in equipping public services in Wales to grasp the opportunities of digital innovation.  
In the short-term, our focus on digital will raise the profile of the opportunities it affords public services, to develop a range of people with the right skills to make a difference and to equip public service leaders to understand how digital can help them – and encourage them to create space for innovation to happen.  
The Fund itself supports activity in these areas and provides investment to support innovative projects.  

I believe that digital should be a key priority for every public service leader in Wales.  The Digital Innovation Fund is there to support innovation and bring together experts to support in building capability across the Welsh public service.