The Innovation Lab (Northern Ireland) and CES launch new research about innovation in the public sector.


Beyond Ideas – Enabling a culture of innovation for improved public services is a new report which explores the state of innovation in the public sector in Northern Ireland. It is the result of research into innovation in the public sector and in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. It is the product of collaboration between the Innovation Lab and CES, as part of the GOAL Programme for public service reform and innovation.

Why read this report

Beyond Ideas is offered as a stimulus to thinking differently. It shares insights on innovation and implementation, based on interviews and wider engagement with senior public sector leaders. Among those interviewed was the Head of the NI Civil Service – David Sterling. The report itself reflects views as to what may be required to embed creativity, innovation and implementation within public services in order to foster the level of innovation needed to deliver better outcomes.

This report is designed to be a useful resource for staff across the Northern Ireland public sector, but will also be relevant to the civil and public service more widely, in Ireland and internationally. It introduces you to a number of systemic, radical and incremental innovations in Northern Ireland. They range from innovation in universal pre school education services, to new public transport initiatives.

The authors try to show that there is a process that can be used in innovation – an ‘innovation curve’ with recognisable stages. The report also looks at the role of ‘public entrepreneurs’.

Read the report here.

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