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...