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Statement Regarding Jersey Innovation Fund Review

I wish to echo the disappointment and dismay of the Chief Minister with the findings of the Comptroller & Auditor General in respect of the Jersey Innovation Fund. That dismay is of course shared by members of this Assembly and many Islanders. However, whilst disappointed, I was not surprised. The report documented many of my own concerns, concerns that I had expressed on repeated occasions to the JIF Accounting Officer, the Chief Minister, my own Accounting Officer and the Chief Executive of the States and others. As the Comptroller and Auditor General recognised, the Jersey Innovation Fund was – and remains – a positive idea. Our future economic growth and diversification depends on competition and innovation. The portfolio of Innovation was given to me in November 2014. However legal responsibility for the Jersey Innovation Fund was not transferred by this Assembly to me until January 2016. This delay prevented me from being able to discharge that role. That said, as the Assistant Chief Minister with current responsibility for Innovation, I accept the recommendations of the Comptroller & Auditor General in full. I have not been able to comment on the operational changes to JIF since the C&AG launched her inquiry – to do so would prejudice her work. However, I can confirm that many of the recommendations have already been implemented because of the actions taken last year. The Chief Minister last week committed to a review of political involvement with JIF and separately, through the Chief Executive of the States, a review of officer involvement. I endorse this approach wholeheartedly: I will fully support and willingly participate in...
🇯🇪 Jersey becoming an Innovation Leader

🇯🇪 Jersey becoming an Innovation Leader

The Innovation Report  At the heart of our Strategic Plan is a vision for Jersey to become an innovation leader Evidence is clear that, in a world where labour and capital resources are finite, innovation is key to unlocking economic growth and job creation. And with the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK’s forthcoming negotiations with the EU, there is an even greater imperative for Jersey’s Government and business community to continue to raise standards of innovation and competitiveness. Implementing the recommendations of the Innovation Review is critical to this. Published in September 2015, the Review made suggestions as to how we can create an environment in which entrepreneurs can flourish and businesses can prosper. Since its release, our Innovation Review team have been working hard with delivery partners to make its recommendations become reality. We are now starting to see some results from the Review and I want to offer my thanks to the team and to the many departments and delivery partners who have been responsible for implementation. Advances have been made in a number of key areas over the past six months: • An independent external expert is being appointed to evaluate the economic performance of the Jersey Innovation Fund and recommend the future policy approach to the funding of innovation. In support of this work, the Funding of Innovation Steering Group has been established to propose options for the future funding of innovative new business ideas in Jersey. The Steering Group comprises experienced individuals from the private and public sector (recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 5). • A pilot scheme is making it easier...
TechFair 2016

TechFair 2016

TechFair 2016 slidesTechFair Opening Fort Regent 11th November 2016   1.Good morning and a warm welcome to TechFair 2016 2.  Last year saw an amazing foot fall- of over 4,000 3. And from what I’ve seen it’s going to be far more this year 4. Ladies and Gentlemen: the Digital Revolution in Jersey is gaining momentum 5. You are the early-birds; early adopters 6. And each one of you present are contributing to our valued & growing digital community in Jersey, and I thank each one of you 7. I’m delighted to be standing alongside Deputy Rod Bryans, our valued Education minister, and he is going to speak to you shortly 8. In fact Rod and I would say that any minister could be here and many of them I’m sure will be here over weekend supporting Digital 9. The Chief Minister has made it clear that Digital is at the heart of our Government’s plans for the Island 10. It may not make headlines amid the whirlwind of day-to-day politics but we believe growing the Tech sector is of the utmost importance to every Islander 11. It’s the key to providing a prosperous future for Islanders, providing opportunities for every islander to reach their potential in whatever their area of expertise 12. The internet means they can do that from Jersey to the world 13. The new Digital Framework is going to be vital to make that future a reality and we are going to be publishing this in the next few weeks 14. The Framework is going to be effectively the Island’s digital policy. 15. It will outline...

Post BREXIT Day 29

A week is a long time in politics; the last four weeks have changed the landscape politically, economically and constitutionally. It would normally take a decade to create so many shifts. It has been described as the political earthquake by some, and if that earthquake has an epicentre, it is BREXIT. When it became clear in the early hours of the morning on the 24th June that the voters of the United Kingdom would vote to leave the European Union, this was not the result that most people unexpected.It seemed that most governments around the world, including dare I say it, the United Kingdom, had not even contemplated a BREXIT decision. Hindsight is always a great thing and today peoyple will often say that of course they knew, but the wise words of one of our highly respected members of the Fiscal Policy Panel sums the situation up well – “nobody has evidence of the future”. However, it is important that even without evidence of the future, that there is always cool, level-headed realistic assessment of risk. At the end of the day, most opinion polls were narrow enough to have at least considered an exit result as an option. And government should always have ad two plans – a plan for remaining and a plan for exit. In Jersey, we are more cautious than some places, because our size and constitutional nature means we must take care to protect ourselves against the radical shifts of external markets.   That is why, 18 months prior to the BREXIT Referendum, we set up a Political Oversight Group, to consider the...

Day 28 : Jersey has a prosperous future in the post-Brexit world

  Update 22 July 2016 A week is a long time in politics; the last four weeks have changed the landscape politically, economically and constitutionally. It would normally take a decade to create so many shifts. Some have described it as the political earthquake, and if that earthquake has an epicentre, it is BREXIT. When it became clear in the early hours of the morning on the 24th June that the voters of the United Kingdom would vote to leave the European Union, this was not the result that most people unexpected. It seemed that most governments around the world, including dare I say it, the United Kingdom, had not even contemplated a BREXIT decision. Hindsight is always a great thing and today people will often say that of course they knew, but the wise words of one of our highly respected members of the Fiscal Policy Panel sums the situation up well – “nobody has evidence of the future” However, it is important that even without evidence of the future, that there is always cool, levelheaded realistic assessment of risk. At the end of the day, most opinion polls were narrow enough to have at least considered an exit result as an option. And government should always have ad two plans – a plan for remaining and a plan for exit. In Jersey, we are more cautious than some places, because our size and constitutional nature means we must take care to protect ourselves against the radical shifts of external markets. 18 MONTHS OF PREPARATION  That is why, 18 months prior to the BREXIT Referendum, we set up...

Coding for the future

Coding: delivering Jersey’s digital future  This week, I was delighted to speak at the Digital Jersey coding course graduation. As well as the graduating students, there were a number of businesses from Jersey’s growing technology cluster, many of whom are now taking on thoe leaving the course with technology skills that make them stand out in the job market. Whether it’s technology companies developing FinTech and MedTech solutions or those from other industries who are digitising their companies, it’s clear that industry is crying out for digital skills.   The team at Digital Jersey have shown great leadership in providing the course, especially alongside mentors Tom Luce, Matt Chatterley and Rob Dudley who have made the course possible through their time and expertise. Digital Jersey does not exist in a bubble, it rightly relies on the human resources we have on island.   During the evening, we were treated to presentations by the graduates who were showing us what projects they had been working on. Among them were software projects to help keep your keys safe and to manage property assets for a family business. These are not simply nice hobbies to do in your spare time, but are giving islanders real skills that provide real value to businesses and people in Jersey.   I’m delighted that the success of the course has already spread. For next year’s course, we have over four applicants for every place, which shows the demand from islanders. The successful applicants will be able to take part in the course for free, spending two evenings a week in the Hub at Digital Jersey for...

Reflections on the UK’s Referendum on EU membership – BREXIT Day 1 Over the last 18 months the Chief Minister’s and External Relations have worked hard on preparing for the outcome of the United Kingdom’s decision on the EU referendum. The island was prepared for either our come. At dawn, the Jersey team actioned the start of the carefully researched plan which was prepared in the event of an exit vote. Whilst other ministers have their important roles to discharge, my political responsibility is to do whatever is necessary to protect and promote the interests of the finance and digital services sectors. I write this blog in that capacity. I thought it would be helpful to set out in more detailed words my reflections on today’s vote, particularly for the finance and digital sectors. As appropriate, I will continue to set out my thoughts in the important days and weeks ahead. Our diversified financial services base As a result of our long-term planning ahead of the EU referendum, we are extremely well prepared to maintain our stable public finances, international ties and economic growth amid the UK’s withdrawal. It is important to remember that Jersey is an International Finance Centre, three quarters of whose wealth comes from outside the UK. Work in recent years has demonstrated the diversified client base in financial services markets, particularly in new markets such as the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Our diverse base of underlying business is therefore not directly affected by Brexit. We are very well and uniquely placed to navigate our way through what is going to be a period of adjustment for the UK where there will be the need to build and develop new relationships. Jersey is and will remain a third country to Europe Institutional investors place confidence in Jersey structures to distribute capital around the world. Jersey has always been a third country to the EU for the purposes of financial services and this will remain following the withdrawal of the UK from its structures. Jersey’s agreements to market access for financial services have been built up over numerous years, and those agreements will remain post-BREXIT. It was testament to our world-class regulatory environment that we were shortlisted of four jurisdictions for AIFMD passporting, giving island firms access to European markets. We need to work to maintain this. The fact that we already secured a third country access to Europe allows certainty to be provided – our position is the same today as it was yesterday morning and will remain so. Certainty is a valuable commodity and it stands us in good stead in the coming years. As of tonight, relationship with the EU and the UK is therefore business as usual. Jersey’s stability regardless of market fluctuations in the short term Fluctuations in the markets were to be expected given the vote for Brexit. However, we have already seen the markets beginning to stabilise. Markets have stabilised and the stock market ended today down 2%,Mim told much less than the bold assertions of commentators. Obviously things can change but that is the situation as of tonight. The notice of resignation by the Prime Minister with a new leader coming into place to lead the renegotiation and withdrawal the UK from the EU will provide some stability to the UK market. Over time, history tells us markets tend to rebalance. The Governor of the Bank of England issued a statement this morning on the stability of the UK economy and liquidity of UK banks. Jersey’s role as a significant source of liquidity is beneficial to the aims of the Bank of England in this regard and indicates we will be as important, if not more so, to the UK in the future. Jersey’s financial services industry has adapted to significant changes over recent years. After having been through the worst financial crisis since the Second World War we have shown our resilience. We are adaptable and retain the excellent financial stability to deal with any change. Our legislation to enact innovative sound virtual currency legislation earlier this week, will allow good businesses to operate in Jersey. This has garnered international attention, helping companies to set up and find customers. There will be much of this activity to come to promote jobs and growth.m Turning back to finance, we have returned to almost record numbers in employment as islanders have been retrained and moved into new areas of work. Our growth figures from last year of 5% are comparable to those of a tiger economy and show that we have much to be hopeful about. The Jersey authorities will work closely with the financial services industry to ensure Jersey retains a positive relationship with the U.K. and global community. As of tonight, clear messages had been made by Jersey ministers of stability and confidence back up by evidence. I’ll update the finance and digital sectors as necessary. I want to assure all of the plans and efforts to defend and protect the island’s interests. At the dusk of a historical day in London, we O

Over the last 18 months a team comprising of senior officials from Jersey’s Chief Minister’s department, the Jersey, London and Brussels External Relation teams, Law Officers, Financial Services Commission, Jersey Finance and advisors have worked hard to prepare for whatever outcome the people of United Kingdom decided on the EU referendum. The island was prepared for either result. At dawn, the Jersey team implemented the carefully researched plan which had been prepared in the event of an exit vote. Whilst other ministers have their important roles to discharge, my political responsibility is to do whatever is necessary to protect and promote the interests of the sectors I am politically responsible for. I write this blog in this capacity and thought it would be helpful to set out my thoughts on what today vote means. Our diversified Financial Services Sector As a result of the long-term planning ahead of the EU referendum, today we are extremely well prepared. Our stable public finances, increasingly international ties and underpinned a growing  economy economic growth can UK’s withdrawal. It is important to remember that Jersey is an International Finance Centre, three quarters of whose wealth comes from outside the UK. Work in recent years has demonstrated the diversified client base in financial services markets, particularly in new markets such as the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Our diverse base of underlying business is therefore not directly affected by Brexit. We are very well and uniquely placed to navigate our way through what is going to be a period of adjustment for the UK where there will be the need to build and develop new relationships. Jersey is...

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