Why are we doing this?
Y Lab’s Innovation Fund is an initiative launched to devise and test new answers to major public service problems in Wales. Along with the Welsh Government and Cardiff University, Nesta recognises the need for innovations across public services in Wales. We believe that positive changes can be made by looking at the way public services run in Wales; making practical interventions where needed; and offering funding and non-financial support to organisations with the greatest potential impact.
What are we doing?
The fund supports public service organisations wishing to use digital technology to trial smarter, more future-facing ways of working. Y Lab will be drawing on precedents set by Nesta and its work in the field of government innovation to deliver a programme with resonance across Wales.
The fund was created in response to an identified need for change across current Welsh public services, as well as a need for more funding opportunities, support and guidance for smaller projects with potential to make positive change in this field.
The fund will be used to support the establishment of a new Digital Innovators Network, run by Y Lab, which will bring together public sector digital leaders to share best practice.
There will also be the opportunity for the network to pitch for accelerator funding in order to develop demonstrator projects. We hope to fund between five and eight projects in this round. Examples of projects that could be funded include those that use public data to better target services, or that streamline systems and processes, or make services more accessible.
Support provided through the fund will also include access to business advice, events, workshops and mentoring. There will be a programme of hackdays, workshops and leader briefings to help disseminate the fund’s work and extend its reach across Wales.