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Minister McGrath launches Public Service Innovation Fund 2021 Call

Laura Mahoney, Head of Public Service Reform, and Minister Michael McGrath, TD, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, today (1st February) opened the 2021 call for projects under the Public Service Innovation Fund as part of Our Public Service 2020 framework – the overall strategy for development and innovation in the Public Service.

Public servants are invited to make applications to the competitive fund which aims to support innovative ideas and projects from across public service organisations. To date the fund, which is in its third year, has supported 52 diverse projects with c. €1.5 million in funding. In 2021 the minimum grant awarded will be €25,000 with a general ceiling of €60,000. Applications are welcomed that include new service delivery mechanisms or that offer better user experiences for the public. Projects are also sought that propose new ways of working and that can make processes more efficient or cost effective.

Launching the fund, Minister McGrath said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for governments around the world to strengthen their resilience. Governments have had to pivot quickly and change the way they work to respond to the various impacts and to meet the needs of their citizens.

“Our Public Service has responded commendably, establishing new and effective channels to deliver services, while also taking measures to lessen the pervasive impact of the virus on our economy and society. We need to be ready for the emergence of more widespread events connected to health, climate change and geopolitical situations and it is therefore crucial that we integrate innovation into our operational and strategic planning.

“As we plan and navigate our recovery from this pandemic, it is imperative that we identify ways to sustain the enhanced culture of agility and innovation that in many ways were unimaginable before the crisis. It is incumbent on Government to foster and encourage innovation throughout all sectors of our Public Service.

“The Public Service Innovation Fund is an initiative developed by my Department to fund innovative ideas and projects that will add value and create better outcomes for the public. I would encourage public service teams to collaborate on projects and to develop proposals that have the potential to be scaled across organisations and sectors,” the Minister concluded.

The Fund is now open for applications until 24th February. Full details of the scheme are available on www.ops2020.gov.ie/funding

ENDS