The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today announced the 18 winning projects awarded a total of €750,000 from the Public Service Innovation Fund 2023. These novel projects will benefit from investment of between €25,000 and €60,000 as well as ongoing support and mentoring from the Public Sector Transformation Delivery Unit at the Minister’s Department.
The Public Service Innovation Fund 2023 received 99 proposals from public service bodies that submitted projects in four different categories - digital transformation, citizen support innovation, green and sustainable initiatives and innovative design of services.
Projects allocated funding in the competition seek to tackle key issues in Health, Climate and accessibility to public services. A snapshot of projects being supported in 2023 include the operation of Drone Technology to support Healthcare delivery in rural Ireland, exploring the application of AI & 3D technology for advanced healthcare treatment, tackling issues in healthcare bed space management and exploring the energy potential of public land.
Announcing the results, Minister Donohoe said:
“I am pleased with the continued success of the Public Service Innovation Fund and my Department’s ongoing support and commitment in championing innovation and positive change in public service delivery. These successful projects contain impressive and imaginative examples of new ways of thinking, embracing technology and engaging with the citizen in ways that support the creation of efficient and effective service delivery.
“I also wish to congratulate the project teams who entered this competition and while some were unsuccessful this time around, I am pleased that our public servants continue to show ambition and passion in seeking to transform how services are delivered to our citizens. This ambition is vital to ensure innovation delivered today in the public service can shape the lives of our people tomorrow.”
The 18 successful projects awarded funding under the Public Service Innovation Fund 2023 are:
- Citizen Support Innovation
- Citizens Information Board will build on the rural library network as a trusted community hub with reliable, well-informed staff and leverage this resource to link people to Citizens Information services using technology.
- Longford County Council seeks to be the first county with Computer Science as a leaving cert option in all nine secondary schools. Longford CoCo will collaborate with industry experts (Microsoft & Ericcson) and upskill teachers in the county by creating a learning network, providing ICT equipment/resources using Micro: bits and Microsoft's Dreamspace Academy.
- The National Transport Authority aims to design and build a new SPSV Driver Licensing system that will allow them to automate the application process, reduce the administrative burden and improve service delivery.
- St James’s Hospital will build upon existing clinical expertise and organisational infrastructure to create an innovative new service for patients with pleural effusions, which will improve patient experiences and reduce the cost associated with management of this condition.
- Digital Transformation
- The HSE will design and develop the ADMiRE ADHD app, a secure, web-based app that will translate the ADMiRE standardised clinical protocol for assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder into a digital, scalable process, and provide one system for effective assessment and treatment of young people with ADHD.
- Limerick City and County Council will develop a state-of-the-art solution using delivery drones creating a point to point, on demand delivery service streamlining medical delivery, expanding patient capacity, reducing overcrowding in overworked A&Es, slashing carbon footprints, and improving healthcare outcomes for patients.
- The HSE seeks to deliver efficiencies in the use of the Kidney Disease Clinical Patient Management System (KDCPMS) by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to extract key information from unstructured or free-text data in the KDCPMS and populate structured data fields. This will make it easier and more efficient to carry out a range of clinical audits, quality improvement projects, and clinical research using the KDCPMS data.
- Beaumont Hospital will conduct a retrospective validation study using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) mammography interpretation product called Mia TM version 2.0.1 an AI system from Kheiron Medical Technologies. The design of the algorithm is to assess its overall accuracy in cancer detection and categorisation of breast density in patients attending a symptomatic breast service.
- The HSE will provide a no-code app that will be available to clinicians to prescribe tailored exercises for clients suffering with Lymphoedema. The app will be gamified and send push messages to remind patients to do the exercises required to prevent Lymphoedema.
- Limerick City & County Council seek to transform and streamline the hospital bed management process. The proposed solution will automate task administration leveraging Radio Frequency Identification tags, a workflow platform and a dashboard that visualises tasks progress and potential back logs to management in real time.
- Green and Sustainability Initiatives
- Kildare County Council will investigate the potential for managed green spaces to contribute to climate action and climate mitigation opportunities. Its research would contribute to the wider challenge of bio-methane production from the agriculture sector.
- Leitrim County Council will conduct active research on identifying solutions for sustainable rural mobility. The project team intend to develop a model based on Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) activating a shift away from privately owned modes of transportation towards shared mobility solutions (from public and private operators) to be offered and utilised as a service.
- Dublin City Council will design and implement new Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) or Rain Box Planters. SUDS are simple, low-cost solutions already in use in a number of countries. They use plants and soil to absorb and store rainwater, reducing or slowing the flow rates to the sewer, reducing flooding and sewer overflows downstream during extreme rainfall.
- Innovative Design of Services
- Mater Misericordiae University Hospital will develop a highly novel teaching tool that addresses the current gap in teaching options for dermatology. It will co-design and test an educational offering for GPs that is feasible and attractive to them and will allow hospital specialists to support GPs in managing skin conditions.
- The Public Appointments Service will utilise a design-thinking approach to transform the current approach to reasonable accommodations* at both the assignment and job placement stage in the Public Appointments Service, and at the on-boarding stages for government departments and public service organisations across the sector. *Reasonable accommodations support disabled candidates to perform to the best of their ability during the recruitment process and are a key part of this work.
- University Hospital Limerick will design and pilot a new service for patients that have undergone a complete mastectomy and provide an option in availing of bespoke prostheses produced at the point of care.
- The Department of Justice will develop a facilitated business simulation, as a comprehensive training package, supporting the implementation of new innovative case management processes.
Full details of the successful projects in this year’s Public Service Innovation Fund, and previous years is available here.
Notes to Editors:
The Public Service Innovation Fund 2023 developed and delivered by the Public Service Transformation Delivery Unit of the Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform. The unit is responsible for implementing and managing Our Public Service (OPS), the framework that supports continuous development and innovation across the public service (see here). The OPS programme of reform builds on the achievements of previous reforms and sets a path for improvements into the future.
During the lifetime of the current OPS framework there have been a number of central innovation programmes and initiatives, which are collectively intended to bolster innovation and experimentation across the public service, including:
- The publication of the strategic policy on public service innovation, Making Innovation Real launched in November 2020.
- The Public Service Innovation Network, which now has over 2,000 members in the public service bodies, and 180 public sector reps leading out on innovation in their organisations.
- The Future Tech Challenge final – a competition held in October 2021, which saw public bodies competing to secure a share of a total of €300k in service support with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco and IBM and across three emerging tech challenges (Artificial Intelligence, Remote Connectivity and Cloud Computing).
- The Public Service Innovation Advisory Board, which monitors the effective implementation of Making Innovation Real, and provide recommendations to the Public Service Reform unit on best practice and trends to be adhered to in driving innovation activities within and across the public service.
- Innovation Week: Entering its fifth year in 2023, the annual week-long initiative provides a forum to encourage public and civil servants to consider new ways of working together to shape how pubic services in Ireland can be provided, and sustained, into the future.