CivTech Programme pivots to tackle the Covid-19 response – pressing public sector problems sought

CivTech Programme pivots to tackle the Covid-19 response
Calling all parts of the public sector with pressing problems caused by the impact of Covid -19 that you’re struggling to solve, and for innovative businesses to respond.  

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a huge change in working patterns at the Scottish Government and across the Scottish public sector, with a massive redirection of effort and resources to respond to the most serious health crisis in living memory. 

One heartening feature in the current climate is the huge number of offers of help the Scottish Government has received from the private sector. To make sure the nation gets the most out of these opportunities, a triage team within the Digital Directorate  is working flat out to filter the offers so the best ones are directed to the right areas of government and taken up as fast as possible.  

But as much as all these offers represent a wonderful opportunity in these troubled times, the government is acutely aware that its directorates and divisions may have specific needs – some of them acute – for which solutions are urgently needed. 

This is where the CivTech Programme comes into play. CivTech has pivoted away from its normal Innovation Flow process, taken the great strengths they’ve developed in terms of rapid, de-risked development, and applied it to the Covid-19 response challenge.  

They’re focusing on taking urgent problems for which there are no ready and easily accessed solutions, and quickly developing answers which can be deployed in short order.  This, it needs to be stressed, is not the ‘standard’ CivTech approach of creating entirely new or highly innovative products or services over a four month period within an accelerator. Rather this will be about finding things that can be, with an amount of intensive development, deployed rapidly.  

The key here is that while many smaller, incremental developments can be relatively straightforward and can therefore be handled by ‘standard development methods’, some things that could be of great value to citizens will need higher levels of development over a short period of time, with commensurately higher levels of uncertainty.  

This is where CivTech can factor greatly. The system that CivTech has developed over the past few years is ideally suited to speedy approaches to challenge definition so that the problem to be solved is clearly mapped and articulated, finding products and services upon which a solution can be built, and then managing the rapid development that both brings a robust product through as fast as possible while minimising risks involved. 

So here’s the call to every part of government and the public sector: CivTech’s open for C-19 business, ready for your most pressing problems – especially those that you’re struggling to articulate, or find an answer to.  

And for innovative businesses, watch this space as we push these challenges out as soon as they come in, and through an accelerated procurement process, see how your expertise can help us s 

upport the response to Covid-19. 

Talk with your teams and contact Mark Elliott, CivTech Programme Director – mark.elliott@gov.scot. There’s no time to lose – talk with us today!