Urban congestion and growing demand for social housing are among the issues the NSW Government will use ‘crowdsourcing’ to address in a new, innovative approach to deliver services.
NSW Premier Mike Baird today launched the Premier’s Innovation Initiative, which turns to the wider community to seek to uncover the best, cutting-edge ideas and target priority issues.
Through the Initiative, the NSW Government will use a competitive selection process to identify inventive solutions from private and non-government organisations.
“The Innovation Initiative is a significant opportunity for the NSW Government to engage with business, community and other non-government stakeholders to help us deliver services to the people of NSW,” said Mr Baird.
“We have already seen it work in places like the UK, where the London Ventures program delivered eight projects that have improved public services.
“Currently, government services are delivered by public sector employees, through competitive tendering and via unsolicited proposals – the Innovation Initiative will provide a fourth channel through which we can uncover some of the exciting ideas and technology out there.”
The Initiative focuses on four priority areas:
- Congestion: reducing traffic in hot spots across Sydney’s roads;
- Social Housing Assets: using innovative financing solutions to assist with replenishing the social housing portfolio;
- Open Data: fast-tracking the release of open data to maximize value for the community;
- Open Ideas: allowing the public to nominate areas where a policy challenge exists and suggest possible solutions.
Through the Initiative, the NSW Government aims to deliver new services to the people of NSW and improve the way we do business.
Mr Baird said the NSW Government recognised that crowd sourcing was a valuable approach and hoped the Innovation Initiative would harness the ideas and skills in the wider community to produce solutions.
“One of the best assets the state of NSW has is its people and we know that Government doesn’t always have the answers,” he said.
“This exciting initiative is about opening up Government avenues to the public and combining our considerable know-how.”
There are a number of examples across the globe where collaborative projects like the Innovation Initiative have resulted in benefits for the community.
Some international examples include:
- Toronto has introduced a retiming program that changed traffic light signals and improved traffic flow, reducing delays by up to 33 per cent.
- The London Ventures program launched an initiative that uses predictive analytics to identify young children and risk and help social workers to intervene early.
- It also launched a centralised website that allows people to search for and book a football pitch anywhere in London, which reduces administration costs and encourages pitch use.
- In the US, private funding is directed towards affordable housing projects by investors looking to steer their portfolios into socially responsible or ‘green’ investments.
Expressions of interest will open from September.