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New lab to address major public services challenges

28 July 2015

Main Building from Museum Avenue
Main Building from Museum Avenue

Cardiff University and Nesta create new lab to address major public services challenges

Cardiff University and Nesta, working with the Welsh Government, have established a new lab for public services innovation.

‘Y Lab’ is working to devise and test new solutions to major public services challenges in Wales, addressing a number of Welsh public service projects, with the first projects aiming to commence in September.

Academics at Cardiff University will work alongside Nesta’s innovation experts to model different approaches to society’s challenges in action, helping make sure that the public sector responds in the best possible way to deliver effective and efficient outcomes.

The aim is to bring practical support, contributing to the Welsh Government’s agenda of promoting innovation across public services in Wales.

Professor Rick Delbridge, Dean of Research, Innovation & Enterprise at Cardiff University, said: “The University has a long history of helping the public services in Wales to improve, advising on initiatives such as local government reorganisation, improving education policies, and contributing to developments in public health.

“Together with innovation practitioners from Nesta, we will tackle the big issues that have an impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of our population as a whole.”

Simon Brindle, Y Lab’s director said: “The need for public service reform has never been greater.  Y Lab will support a more systematic approach to the trialling and testing of new public service developments in Wales, drawing on the experience and expertise from across Nesta and Cardiff University.”

The Welsh Government Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews set out the need for innovation in Welsh public services in his speech at the Institute for Welsh Affairs earlier this year.

Leighton Andrews added: “I have been consistently clear about the transformation that I would like to see in Welsh public services and Y Lab is an important part of supporting that agenda.  I am delighted that Y Lab is now operational and, for one of its first projects, is now in discussions with Welsh Government on its potential role in administering and delivering the Digital Innovation Fund that I recently announced.”