Breaking down the barriers to collaboration to drive local government transformation and innovation

techUK has recently launched a Local Public Services Committee

The fast pace of technological change often makes it difficult for local government to be on top of what the latest innovations are that can help them reimagine the delivery of local public services. It can also be confusing and difficult to understand the true value against a blizzard of competing solutions. Technology suppliers have a key role to play in driving and delivering innovation into local government, especially when it comes to the ‘unknown’.

techUK’s Local Public Services Committee
One such forum to help break down the barriers of collaboration between industry and local government is techUK’s Local Public Services Committee (LPSC). The LPSC exists to provide a neutral forum for local government stakeholders to engage with industry, have constructive dialogue as well as horizon scan how the technology of today and tomorrow can solve some of the most pressing issues for people and places.
This summer, techUK was delighted to announce the new members of the Local Public Services Committee (LPSC). Composed of 25 techUK members, including 11 SME representatives and 14 from larger companies, it brings together a diverse range of tech industry leaders who will champion the sector and drive an ambitious programme of activity between techUK and local public services.
The committee is committed to engaging and hearing from as many local authorities as possible and will be meeting at least once a quarter across the UK to hear directly from a local public service leader.
In the past, the LPSC has been hosted by councils across the country from Suffolk to Newcastle, providing an opportunity for councils to share their digital ambitions with a diverse group of suppliers who can help inform thinking as well as discuss how the market can create the environment that enables transformation to thrive. Everything from fixing the plumbing to helping to create a ‘digital first’ culture.

Engaging the market early
Beyond the LPSC, there are other ways councils can engage the market early to maximise the benefit and value they can derive from tech and to procure solutions that actually meet a need.
Procurement is part of a bigger transformation and innovation puzzle. If done well and outcome-focused, it can help stimulate the local government tech market and create places where citizens can thrive and feel safe. From lengthy process to the lack of early market engagement, and the use of central or regional frameworks – procurement processes can vary significantly between local public services. This makes it difficult for new entrants and SMEs to access the market and deliver much needed innovation.
To ensure value to the taxpayer and avoid unnecessarily procuring a solution that does not meet a user need, techUK encourages local government to routinely adopt early meaningful market engagements to effectively articulate the problem they are trying to solve and to ensure that a solution exists and is fit for purpose and future proof. By engaging with the technology market early, local public services will be able to interrogate the problem first to ensure they are procuring for the right outcome. Local government will be able to access the latest innovations and workshop through with partners what the art of the possible is.
Read about our various forms of market engagement and examples of how we have worked with councils in techUK’s Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change paper.

How to get involved Present at an industry briefing
techUK provides the platform for councils to connect with suppliers of all sizes as part of our series of industry briefings. This can be in the form of providing the market with information about either a digital strategy or ambition so councils can validate thinking/inform a future strategy, or briefing on an upcoming procurement to ensure a diverse and varied response to a tender and help councils grow their engagement with SMEs.
It is an opportunity for councils to better understand the latest technological developments and innovations that exist and have constructive conversations with suppliers early to get the most value for their residents

Be part of techUK’s Innovators Network
Attend or propose a challenge for a future Innovators Network. The Innovators Network is a forum for councils to enable and empower them to connect with innovators to access the latest technologies in a neutral forum to help solve some of the most pressing and common challenges they face. Some of the benefits of joining this network include peer support and best practice from across local government and the tech supplier base, identifying the problem to inform technology, and having a safe space to test and de-risk innovation at a collective level.
For the Care Cap Innovators Network, techUK worked with Redbridge council to define the problem and they also presented at the session

Shape the vision of the smarter state
On 27 September, techUK is convening over 200 stakeholders from across public sector and industry for its annual Building the Smarter State conference in London. This year the conference focuses on innovation and impact within the smarter state, with keynote addresses from minister for cabinet office, Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP, Tom Read, chief executive officer, Government Digital Services and from Megan Lee Devlin, chief executive, Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO). The event will explore how technologies of today and tomorrow are transforming some of the most pressing challenges our society and public sector organisations face. L

Event Diary

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