Why are we doing this?
Innovate to Save is an ambitious programme seeking to tackle some of the most complex issues currently facing our public services - while generating cashable savings. The model is new - blending different kinds of finance and intensive support to achieve this goal. The programme is a pilot to understand how innovation can be best supported to achieve these outcomes and we’ll be exploring the drivers of (and barriers to) innovation when thinking about how we deliver better services for less.
What are we doing?
The £5million Innovate to Save programme will, through grant funding, non-financial support and repayable loans, support public and third sector organisations to prototype, trial, scale and evaluate innovative projects. It is open to all Welsh public and third sector organisations, including local authorities, health boards, charities and social enterprises, and enquiries to undertake new research and development projects can be made from 20 February 2018.
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Read about our first cohort of projects
There are three phases to the Innovate to Save programme: pre-application support, where we can support the development of new ideas into robust research and development (R&D) projects; research and development, where new ideas can be prototyped and tested; and implementation, where ideas that show the capacity to improve services and generate savings can be rolled out.
We’re keen to see applications from partnerships - particularly where activity in one organisation generates savings in another.
We will provide a package of support to enable successful applicants to take part in the R&D phase - grants of between £5,000 and £30,000 are available alongside a programme of non-financial support to ensure project teams have the skills, knowledge and capacity required to effectively explore their idea.
Implementation projects will be supported with interest free, unsecured loans and a further package of non-financial support. At this moment there is no upper limit to the value of loans that can be applied for.
How to apply
Read the Application Guidance Document (pdf) to find out more about the process and important deadlines. An application planning document can be downloaded to help you formulate your project idea, and to provide a template for the final application form.
Following a period spent processing, scoring and shortlisting, a small number of applicants will be invited to take part in selection interviews in the summer of 2018, then begin their research and development work in September 2018.
The deadline for submission of applications is 10am on Monday 16 July 2018.
Since 2009, the Welsh Government’s Invest to Save Fund has financed over £174 million towards projects, many of which have been able to generate cashable savings. The fund runs as a loan scheme, offering unsecured, interest free finance to public sector projects that require up front investment to implement. Challenges include effective evaluation, little incentive for partnership projects and a lack of non-financial support. After a review of Invest to Save, a more complex pilot programme was designed and became Innovate to Save.
Apply to Innovate to Save