First Public Service-wide Innovation Week


The first Public Service-wide Innovation Week took place from the 9-13th December this year.

This initiative, under Action 6 of Our Public Service – the current framework for reform and innovation in the public service, will see Public Service organisations put a spotlight on innovation for the week.

Welcoming the initiative, Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said, “For the first time ever we will hold an innovation week across all sectors of our Public Service where organisations have been asked to put a focus on innovation through activities designed to engage and inspire their teams.

“Public Service leaders will have an opportunity to develop innovation activities that convey to staff not only the imperative, but also the opportunity for developing new and improved ways of working and delivering better services for the public.”

Innovation Week saw organisations create ways to engage their teams in aspects of innovation. Workshops explored design-thinking, user-centricity, prototyping, ideation, and collaborative working, among other topics. The week was designed to further deepen an innovation culture throughout the Public Service, a key action under the current Public Service reform and innovation framework.

Secretary General Robert Watt added, “Organisations may wish to run their own innovation weeks, organise innovation events, collaborate on initiatives or invite speakers to discuss aspects of innovation. The main goal is to create an awareness of, and convey the need to find new and better ways of doing our work and delivering for society.

“Our Public Service needs to respond to a changing world with ever increasing complex problems, a faster pace of change, rising citizen expectations, changing demographics, and this is in addition to new and emerging technology and an exponential growth of data. Our Public Service has to become more innovative if it is to tackle these challenges and in order to meet society’s changing expectations.”

In addition to the Innovation Week initiative, a Public Service Innovation Network has been established to support the development of a culture of innovation across the Public Service. The Network will also form a mechanism to build skills in innovation and to provide the tools and resources to members.

An innovation fund was also launched earlier in the year which is providing support for innovative projects across the Public Service that aim to create new and better ways of doing things. Projects funded include: a project to create child distraction spaces in the courts; Sensors on ring buoys to address the issues caused by lost or stolen buoys; Hackathons in An Garda Síochána to look at organisational challenges and technology for policing; Innovative redesign of an occupational therapy rehabilitation facility; Development of an App to simplify capturing the impacts of climate events and trends; and the development of a programme on mobility solutions across the four Dublin local authorities.

For more information on Innovation Week and other related initiatives see


Notes for Editors

Photographs of Robert Watt, Secretary General and Innovation Fund winners announcing Innovation Week have been sent to picture desks and are available from Maxwell Photography.

  • For more information see
  • For more information on Innovation Week 2019, click here.
  • For more information on the Innovation Fund, click here.
  • For more information on the Innovation Network, click here.

Our Public Service 2020 is the policy framework designed to build on previous reform programmes while expanding the scope of reform to focus on collaboration, innovation and evaluation. For more information click here.

Email Banner for Innovation Week 1

Visit our Innovation Week page for information and downloadable material.