The Centre is a co-ordination function that enables the public sector to connect with businesses to provide innovative solutions to public sector challenges
The Centre enables Public Sector bodies to work with Welsh business to develop innovative solutions to solve a problem where no solution exists. Set up using Welsh Government funding and is hosted by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.The Centre offers a unique service as an enabler,not only in policy delivery,but in promoting,coordinating and collaborating with all public sector stakeholders within Wales through the following:
•Events with public sector organisations to identify their ‘top challenge’ priority areas
•Support to challenge owners in writing bids e.g. highlighting relevant government strategies
•Project Management support for successful bidders
•Networking and facilitation with stakeholders to support regional collaboration for challenges
•Running a training Centre to support knowledge and skills development
The SBRI Centre aims to
•Improve Wales’ S3 innovation and economic performance
•Leverage additional R&D investment into Wales
•Increase public sector engagement with innovative businesses
•Support Welsh opportunities emerging from UK Government Industrial Strategy
This will be achieved by
•Working collaboratively across the wider public sector to identify and support Welsh projects
•Prioritising challenges to reflect the innovation strengths (S3) of Welsh businesses & the Economic Action Plan
•Working closely with UKRI to identify strategic Innovation projects
•Providing support to strategic projects that align with Welsh & UK Government priorities
The SBRI Centre is funded by Welsh Government Health on a yearly basis at a cost of £300,000 per year.
The SBRI Centre is currently resourced by a small team of 4 which comprises of a Centre Manager, Innovation Business Analyst a Project Manager and a Project Support officer.
Evidence of success
The challenge was to develop rapid sanitising technology for cleaning ambulances of Covid.The SBRI Centre and Welsh Government (WG) launched a ‘rapid’ SBRI, reducing the process from 18months to 8weeks.This all Wales project involved multilayer collaboration with key stakeholders from Welsh Ambulance Service,SBRI Centre,WG & UK Government.11 projects were tested with Ministry of Defence and 2 progressed to testing with the ambulance team resulting in reductions of 86% cleaning time and 82% cost
Potential for learning or transfer
This initiative is a positive example of horizontal coordination across various UK wide governmental agencies (UK and Welsh Government) and private business providing the innovative solutions to a particular public sector challenge.
It also provides the catalyst for supporting the development of Wales Smart Innovation strategy and economic development performance by the collaboration between various public sector partners and Welsh based SME’s.
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