Back in July we launched the IEWM New Ideas Fund to support the development of new and innovative solutions to respond to tightening public sector budgets and demand from increasingly tech savvy communities. We have tried not to be overly prescriptive about what it should or should not be. There wasn’t a form or a questionnaire to fill in and we’ve only asked interested parties to use our suggestions as guidelines:
- provide specialist support to overcome a technical or workability issue;
- enable more detailed research into an idea to prove the concept (or not) and provide evidence for a business case to support implementation;
- implement small service changes and improvements or efficiencies;
- assist with the roll out of solutions to other authorities;
- help boost capacity and support engagement in activity on behalf of the West Midlands
We are pleased to report that 18 expressions of interest and 14 proposals have been received to date and 11 have been approved. This is brilliant! Even more so, because it has confirmed what we have already found through #bestbywm: there are some amazing people out there, often working under the radar, who need only a little support and encouragement to get their clever ideas off the ground. There is also a significant enthusiasm and appetite among public sector colleagues to make improvements – for people they serve and for themselves and the way they work.
We have tried our best to allocate the resources available against the submissions for the ‘New Ideas fund’ with an emphasis on creativity, engagement and new territory.
We have really loved and are proud to be able to support the following:
- Programme of County-wide Social Media campaigns (Worcestershire County Council);
- Alcohol campaign aimed at 11-14 year olds (Staffordshire County Council);
- Development of the Yammer network to enhance internal communications and efficiency (Sandwell MBC);
- Establishment of #BestbyWM for voluntary sector (RAWM);
- Production of the adoption training videos to assist those considering adoption (Shropshire Council);
- Effective engagement of seldom heard voices in relation to adult social care services (Dudley MBC and CVS);
- Creating virtual access to the police museum (West Midlands Police);
- Tourism app for mobile phones which will allow people to download vouchers to visit tourist attractions in Dudley (Dudley MBC);
- Support the development of “Digital Neighbourhoods” across the city (Birmingham City Council);
- Voter registration app (Sandwell MBC);
- The ‘Do you feel safe?’ project aiming to reduce fear of crime ) Staffordshire County Council).
Well done to all successful applicants!
We look forward to sharing all their amazing ideas so watch this space.