Top tips for successful Innovate to Save bids

Innovate to Save is looking for projects that have the ambition to tackle some of the biggest challenges public services face, engage with new ideas or new technology and are seeking to try something, despite the fact that it may not work. It is expected that bids describe innovative ideas to:

  • Improve services for the people who use them; and
  • Generate cashable savings

Describe your proposed solution clearly

It is often the case that applicants are able to describe the challenge they are facing well, pulling on statistics and quotes to help qualify the depth and breadth of the challenge they face. However, when it comes to describing the action that will be taken to solve the challenge, people can struggle.

Focus on describing idea in terms of what you will deliver as part of the R&D phase, taking care to outline what steps will be taken, when, and who will be doing the work in order to do justice to a well-expressed challenge statement.

Make sure your savings are cashable

A significant number of enquiries to Innovate to Save concern non-cashable savings, which can be defined as any activity that increases value or reduces the amount of resources required to deliver a service which cannot be reflected on a budget line. Whilst we recognise that non-cashable savings are important for the public sector in Wales, it is vital that bids to Innovate to Save focus on cashable savings since this is one of the programme’s fundamental requirements. We have published a blog post to help people to think differently about making savings in their work.

A good example of cashable vs non-cashable savings is as follows; a reduction in the number of medicines prescribed is deemed cashable, while a reduction in patient demand for GP time would be classed as a non-cashable saving.

Our FAQ page is a good place to find information on key Innovate to Save definitions, including cashable and non-cashable savings, and innovation:

Think about your team

We are looking for competent, capable and ambitious teams and partnerships. Be mindful of this when completing the section about your team on your application form!

Having a good team in place ensures mutual support and help for team members, it gives people a sense of belonging and can enhance communication and commitment to a project.

We’re interested in knowing what roles will be carried out by each member of the team, and why the people involved are the right people for the job.

When it comes to partnerships, it’s important that the team has a shared vision and is working to a set of common goals. We are looking for solid partnerships that work well together and are mutually supportive.

Tools and resources to help you hone your team are available here:

Ready to apply?

Here are the things you need to do now if you’re ready to apply to Innovate to Save:

Read terms and conditions and the application guidance document

Plan your bid in this template (fersiwn Cymraeg)

Complete your online application form (fersiwn Cymraeg)

Save the Innovate to Save interview dates: August 30th & 31st 2018


Angharad Dalton

Angharad Dalton

Angharad Dalton

Programme Manager, Y Lab

Angharad is the Programme Manager for Innovate to Save

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