techUK was pleased to be at the Government ICT conference yesterday where Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation announced the next 5 GovTech Catalyst challenges. The GovTech Catalyst is a £20 million fund set up to tech innovators tackle public sector problems.
The Catalyst adopts an outcomes-based approach, allowing public sector bodies to identify challenges they have and then bid to run SBRI competitions to find innovative tech to address them. Companies can then bid to win up to £50,000 to build prototype solutions, and the public bodies can then trial the solutions before scaling.
The five winning bids for this round of challenges are:
- How will we manage autonomous vehicles in local traffic management control systems?
- How might we proactively monitor the condition of social housing using sensors?
- How might we better use and understand Scottish land protected for nature and conservation?
- How might we better predict and sequence adult social care to deliver a seamless service?
- How might we accelerate the building of new housing using better geospatial intelligence?
This third round of challenges is the final round for this iteration of the GovTech Catalyst. The intention to allow public sector bodies to identify challenges, and trial tech solutions with agility is the right one. So techUK hopes that serious consideration is given to making provision for more money for the Catalyst in Spending Round submissions. As we made clear to the Science & Technology Committee earlier this month, there is a huge opportunity for Government to work together with SMEs to deliver public service transformation. The GovTech Catalyst could form a key part of the ecosystem to bring about this change.