Image source: Welsh Government
Wales’ public sector should be playing a large role in promoting technological innovation in the country, according to a new strategy document from the Welsh Government.
Titled Wales Innovates, it highlights the need not just to drive economic growth but improve health and care services and help to create a greener environment.
The document says that local authorities, NHS bodies and other public sector organisations should collaborate with other sectors to stimulate and support innovation. They also have a duty to be innovative from within to improve service delivery.
It categorises the effort into four missions, one of which is to promote health and wellbeing in Wales.
This includes supporting digital transformation in health and social care – with a digital strategy for the sector currently being drawn up – including plans for the wider adoption of automation and AI solutions, further improvements in data quality and strengthening the infrastructure through the Digital Priorities Investment Fund.
Efforts to support social care will include the development of platforms to share ideas and resources, a website to showcase pilots and emerging good practice, and communities of practice and coaching support innovation.
In education, the document highlights investments in digital learning, the Hwb edtech programme and support from the Higher Education Funding Council Wales for innovation activities in the country’s universities.
The mission for climate and nature is focused on optimising natural resources; and the one for the economy emphasises collaboration across sectors to meet societal challenges.
The strategy also makes a firm commitment that ministers will aim to drive up investment from the UK Government and beyond in Welsh research, development and innovation. This will involve working with the relevant agencies where shared ambitions exist.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “We cannot compete on all areas, but we can choose missions that maximise our strengths and create new opportunities for public good.
“Our missions span many sectors and the challenges we face. Innovation is for all of us, everyone in Wales should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, and to benefit from it.”
He added that the Welsh Government will soon publish an action plan with specific and measurable goals to take forward each of the missions.