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 for local businesses to fill technology and digital commercial roles (recommendation 13). The scheme enables Digital Jersey to provide staffing permissions to local businesses that are seeking to expand.
• Government has started to develop a relationship with Innovate UK, the UK’s government-funded innovation body, and have had a number of positive discussions about extending some of their programmes to Jersey (recommendation 17).
• Digital Jersey has established sectoral groups to formulate strategies for the development of FinTech, Digital Health and Internet of Things clusters. Each group has held initial meetings to begin to set out roadmaps for each cluster (recommendation 19).
• A new Skills Zone has been developed within the Digital Hub using funding from the Economic and Productivity Growth Drawdown Provision. Plans to open a Barclays Eagle Lab at Jersey Library have also been announced (recommendation 29).
This is just part of the progress to date, which ranges across all areas identified in the Innovation Review
I am proud of the steps we have taken but there is still much to be achieved. While some of the specific actions under the recommendations have become ‘complete’, changes will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that benefits to growth, stability and jobs are being delivered.
A full update of progress to date and ongoing actions is available in the updated Action Plan, including updates on other areas such as business support, promoting Jersey’s image and developing links with knowledge bases.
See Lastest Action Plan here http://ow.ly/yOil3068F5q