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Innovation in public services

In 2017, Y Lab launched Innovate to Save, a three-phase programme that aimed to fund and support innovation in public services in Wales.

Today, we've published an Innovate to Save Playbook that shows what we did and some of the ways we experimented.

We held workshops, talks and briefings, reaching 131 innovators in public services from across Wales, to talk to them about their ideas. After supporting eight projects through research and development, we received four applications for unsecured, interest-free loans from projects that had discovered an idea that improved their service and generated cashable savings.

We want to share what we have learned.

There was a lot of what we did that worked really well, particularly supporting organisations to undertake rapid R&D that helped them develop robust business cases.

There were also things we wouldn’t do again, aspects of the programme that didn’t work in practice and some unexpected consequences. Our case studies show some of the specific insights we gained.

But what if you wanted to try a similar programme? We hope that the Innovate to Save Playbook will be useful to anyone who might want to build a programme to stimulate public services innovation and find out how loan funding can be used.

We’re still learning what works and the Playbook is a reflection of where we are today.

If you’re interested in learning more about the programme, we’d love to hear from you.

Author

Rob Ashelford

Rob Ashelford

Rob Ashelford

Head of Y Lab

Rob is Head of Y Lab, the Public Service Innovation Lab for Wales.

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Angharad Dalton

Angharad Dalton

Angharad Dalton

Programme Manager, Y Lab

Angharad is the Programme Manager for Innovate to Save

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Alice Turner

Alice Turner

Alice Turner

Engagement & Communications Manager, Y Lab

Alice is the Engagement and Communications Manager for Y Lab, Nesta's public services innovation lab for Wales.

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James Lewis

James Lewis is Academic Director at Y Lab, the public services innovation lab for Wales. Alongside this, he conducts research in global health, focusing on conducting pragmatic evalu...