Like! is a €4.2M Interreg Vb project that I set up for Gemeente Groningen and 9 other European partners in 2016. Like! is designed to stimulate the demand for innovation in the public sector, and to deliver innovative solutions that will improve public service delivery.
Why Like? Supporting the drive for innovation
Local, regional, national and transnational governments and organisations face a constant demand for new and better services from citizens, businesses and other parts of government.
There has been an explosion in the range of channels that can be used for communications and service delivery – particularly social media – and the widescale adoption of mobile devices has increased the number of ways in which users can interact with organisations.
At the same time, we also have the adoption of open data, the rapid development of new types of electronic services, and the adoption of new and more flexible ways of working which are also changing how organisations work.
In this fast-changing environment governments are expected to become more accessible and accountable – and to respond to these factors by developing new and significantly improved online tools and services.
The problem organizations face in this environment isn’t technological – it is one of capacity – of the ability of staff and organisations to innovate and to then to deliver and scale-up the solutions that meet peoples’ needs.
Developing innovation cultures
The Like! project was designed to address these issues by focusing on the development of local digital innovation cultures. Developing local innovation capacity will enable the development and delivery of new and innovative services by creating a forward-looking learning and delivery environment that will provide project partners with the tools they need to successfully innovate and deliver.
Developing an innovation culture is critical if organizations realistically want to be able to develop and deliver innovative services that meet users’ expectations. These new skills will underpin efforts to develop and deliver services that effectively support wider economic growth, development, and local innovation.
How to build innovation capacity
Like had 3 aims:
- Create a Local Digital Innovation Culture. This will give participants new skills and knowledge to deliver innovative services, to develop new ways to engage with communities, and to build more inclusive services.
- Use these skills to deliver new and innovative Smart Services. These will use information more efficiently, communicate using appropriate channels, and deliver local services that meet real community needs.
- These smart services are underpinned by work to create Digital DNA for Cities and Neighbourhoods. This will allow partners to turn data into information that is used by citizens, policymakers, and SMEs.
Like! will significantly enhance the capacity of the project’s public sector partners to deliver innovation. This will result in the development and delivery of services that use new and innovative solutions to deliver better public services.