Apr 17, 2019
Llewelyn Morgan of Oxfordshire County Council tells CLGdotTV’s Joe Tibbetts about iHub, the 24-strong innovation unit he leads that is 80% externally funded.
Most of this funding comes from sources like InnovateUK, Horizon2020 and the European Investment Bank: only four posts are currently funded by OCC to do core council activities like transport modeling, research to support policies and business case development.
Other-funded work is looking into things like solving the problems of rural transport provision (now that austerity has removed many bus subsidies), piloting use of council assets to provide ‘mobility as a service’, as well as projects around green energy, public health, drones, and more.
The unit has developed provision of ‘innovation’ as a service to the rest of the council, helping service teams get to grips with the process of innovation so that they have the capabilities to carry forward projects once developed, by themselves.
iHub also collaborates with Oxfordshire’s universities and local industries to help identify and pilot innovations that can be taken up by the council or elsewhere, in an approach very much in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
Working in collaboration with commercial brains and adopting a more commercial approach to innovation has been a new and instructive experience for the team.
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