INFUSE – Innovative Future Services
Investing in Public Sector skills Programmes
Infuse is an innovation and research programme funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government designed to support the 10 local authorities in the Cardiff Capital Region with accessing new skills, methods and tools to improve their capacity and capability to innovate. The programme is a collaboration between Monmouthshire County Council (Lead), Cardiff University, Y Lab, Nesta, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and the ten local authorities that make up the region.
Infuse is a 3-year programme built around opportunities to tackle real-life questions, driven by the biggest challenges faced by our region. Two key themes we will be addressing are ACCELERATING DECARBONISATION and DEVELOPING SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITIES. Some of the potential topics we will be exploring within these themes will include things like how do we become carbon neutral? how do we enforce and measure the impact of our changes? how do we best deliver our services in a post Covid world? and how do we help our communities become more supportive?
This programme runs alongside our CCR Challenge Fund activity which is designed to offer funding for solutions to challenges that might come out of the Infuse programme.
How does the Programme work?
There will be 4 intakes each lasting for a period of 6 months. The learning will be delivered through a combination of 3 months of instructive sessions or “labs” as they are more commonly referred to. These include:
- The Adaption Lab – supporting employees to design and deliver experiments that test potentially scalable solutions to regionwide problems.
- The Procurement Lab – supporting employees to learn, develop and test new processes and methods for procuring innovative products and services that produce better outcomes for people who use and deliver services against the two thematic areas.
- The Data Lab – supporting employees to better collect, manage, analyse, understand and make more effective use of data in decision making.
and a further 3 months of experimenting and testing ideas in current day jobs supported with coaching and mentoring throughout to ensure that by the end of the programme every participant has the confidence and capability to put the newly acquired skills into practice in the real world.
The programme is a fabulous opportunity for our public sector employees to learn best practice from some of the sharpest minds in Europe, build new networks working collaboratively with colleagues from across the region, acquire new skills and have a safe environment in which to test them out. Ultimately it is about developing the courage to try new ideas, getting practical hands-on support to explore and prototype and building personal resilience to learn from failures’ and grow as individuals and improve the respective contributions we all make.
The Programme is up and running, kicking off in May with ‘Cohort Alpha’ – a group of 20 employees from across the region who have volunteered to form the first intake.
Applications for Cohort 1 close on September 13th and the cohort will commence on 1st October 2021.
If you would like to be a part of future programmes and help shape the future for the better please get in touch with us at Infuse@monmouthshire.gov.uk.
There is a podcast series designed to support the programme. Hosted by Dr Jane Lynch from Cardiff University the audio series takes a deeper look into the societal challenges faced in Wales today by talking to leading experts in local government and the public sector.
You can listen to the podcasts here:
Infuse: the podcast – Episode 1 – Kellie Beirne (google.com)