Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Envoy Programme teamed up with world-leading building science centre BRE Group to host a one-day workshop, to explore how innovative ways of working can be applied to the Local Industrial Strategy’s four Grand Challenges for Hertfordshire.

The Industrial Strategy sets out four Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. These are:

Each Grand Challenge will bring the public and private sectors together to find solutions and make a real difference to people’s lives. Underpinning the success of each Grand Challenge is modern technology, with IT and cloud strategies an enabler to build solutions.

The purpose of the workshop on 18th September was to understand what long-term IT and cloud strategies are already in place and how these solutions could be multi-purposed to support public sector organisations. Its desired outcome was to share IT best practice models and facilitate greater collaboration between the private and public sector, specifically in relation to these Grand Challenges.

Chief Technology and Chief Information Officers attended across a wide range of public sector and private sector organisations including Hertfordshire County Council, the districts and borough councils; Hertfordshire Police; NHS and the University of Hertfordshire. The event was driven by Hertfordshire LEP Business Envoy Chris Luff, Chief Executive, Watford and West Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and founder of Freedom Communications.

To maximise the effectiveness of this workshop, 1:1 consultations were carried out prior to the event to collate a high-level view of county-wide infrastructure and cloud strategies, as well as priorities for the next 12 to 18 months, innovations in the pipeline and barriers to growth.

Helen Webb, Director of Webb Strategy and former UK Managing Director of lastminute.com, gave an overview on the day of the social, economic, and technical mega trends that are fast changing our lives at work and home. Oliver Thompson explained how organisations and individuals can achieve smarter ways of working with growth mindset.

The main focus of the workshop was based around round-table discussions to canvas opinions on what the barriers and challenges facing our public sector organisations are - and what IT can do to facilitate better partnership working.

As a result of these discussions a number of initiatives have been put forward for further exploration. It was agreed that there was potential for collaboration in relation to the Ageing Society Grand Challenge. A number of possible tech solutions were raised such as using video to tackle stranger danger and reduce feelings of isolation; the use of smart technology to improve health monitoring and big data sharing across the police/NHS and councils to facilitate early intervention.

Hertfordshire LEP is taking these initiatives forward as part of its Local Industrial Strategy consultation process. Those organisations present that wish to take this opportunity further will be invited to take part in more detailed discussions. 

Local Industrial Strategy

The Industrial Strategy sets out how to improve productivity and build a Britain fit for the future - how to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future. Local Enterprise Partnerships have an important part to play in developing Local Industrial Strategies for their areas. Thanks to their private-public partnerships, they are uniquely placed to identify some of the key challenges and opportunities locally.

Grand Challenges

The Industrial Strategy sets out four Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. These are:

Keep up to date with our Local Industrial Strategy development process.