O2 has unveiled details of a new funding initiative to help local councils tackle challenges through technology.
The Local Government Digital Fund is calling on councils from across the UK to submit technology solutions to drive positive change in their local community or organisation.
The winning idea will be judged at a dragons den style pitch event early next year, and rewarded with £250,000 worth of digital expertise and technology from O2, to help turn their digital vision into a practical reality.
Mark Adams-Wright, head of local government, O2, commented: "Technology holds the key to helping the public sector make crucial savings, whether through policies and devices to empower staff to work more flexibly, or a mobile app to make it easier for local authorities to engage with communities. Building on the success of O2's 2012 Future Fund, where ideas included an app to help tackle local youth unemployment and an e-community project to encourage local economic growth, this year we once again want to help authorities across the UK tackle the challenges in their local area by engaging staff, citizens and communities through technology."
The fund aims to help councils develop services in three categories:
- Mobile working - helping employees to serve local communities, for example, an app that allows a healthcare worker to access patient information on the move
- Connecting and communicating with citizens - making life easier for citizens, such as an app that allows people to pay their council tax via mobile or tablet
- Collaborating in the workplace - improving service delivery for citizens by developing online information sharing systems that allow teams to liaise with different departments to resolve queries or problems faster
John Barradell OBE, CEO and town clerk of the City of London Corporation said: "Local authorities continue to experience a squeeze on resource, while remaining under huge pressure to reduce costs, be more efficient and deliver great services. It's a tough balancing act. I believe there's a lot of potential to innovate within local authority ICT teams and this initiative is an opportunity to unlock some of that talent and expertise and bring them to life."
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