2018 18 Oct

Kickin' up a storm at Smarter Travel Live!

Posted By Simon Young

Wednesday morning saw the Oxfordshire County Council innovation-hub, MoBox and im23 teams come together to discuss “Leveraging Innovation & Delivering Growth for Local Authorities”. In a break from the norm the session was broken down into short presentations, followed by a workshop.

Chaired by im23's Rob Hale, the panel featured Laura Peacock - Innovation Hub Manager Oxfordshire County Council, Llewelyn Morgan - Innovation Lead Oxfordshire County Council, and Dr George Economides - Connected & Autonomous Vechicle Lead for MoBox.

Kicking things off Laura and Llewelyn gave a candid view of the journey that the innovation hub team have taken over the last four years and how their experiences could help other local authorities accelerate their innovation programmes.

As a result of the collaborative approach Oxfordshire have taken in embracing innovation, their journey has yielded over £100 million in revenues across 38 projects and supported over 50 SMEs. This has not been without risk and has required breaking down barriers across the authority. However the panel illustrated what can be achieved by Local Authorities working together with tech innovators.

With a firm focus on the future, Laura unveiled what will become the next exciting chapter in the way that Local Authorities and the tech community can collaborate: The Oxfordshire Strategic Model (OSM) - Innovation Partnership Procurement.

A first for UK Local Authorities, Oxfordshire are using this procurement to not only develop solutions that are not currently available but also to forge new business models and revenue opportunities for both the public and private sectors.

This collaborative R&D procurement brings together the cream of the tech world with Oxfordshire to develop the next generation of modelling and simulations technology.

With im23’s support, the procurement process is inviting data providers, technology, modelling and knowledge-based organisations to form consortia to create a dynamic, future-proof platform.

The new platform will deliver the evidence base for infrastructure decisions to support housing and economic growth. But this is just the starting point, it will also enable testing and development of policies, scenarios, mobility services and the integration of operational capabilities to deliver a sustainable future. All wrapped up in an easy to use, persistent model that delivers a holistic view of mobility across the county.

Having heard about the past achievements and future aspirations, the audience were asked to take an active role in the session and form groups.

In the breakout groups, attendees had the opportunity to discuss the shared barriers to innovation that they had experienced within their own local authorities, and worked together to establish positive steps they could take to overcome them with input from the panel.

This lively and open discussion sowed the seeds for the creation of working groups between Local Authorities, to share experiences, work together to solve common challenges and highlighted new ways to deliver better services and generate revenues.