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Honest Brokers - brokering innovation in public services

Author: Reema
Published Date: 14 August 2008

Where is the Silicon Valley for public services in Britain?

Highly innovative sectors of the economy benefit from an infrastructure of science and innovation parks, business incubators, R&D labs and the like. What would the equivalent infrastructure look like to support innovation that tackled chronic disease, youth crime, climate change or teenage pregnancy?

This booklet explores the role of innovation brokers in public services. It looks at what they are, what they do, and why they might be needed to support innovation in public services. In particular, it looks at how they broker knowledge and relationships between innovators with ideas, managers and commissioners looking for solutions, investors and policy makers.

The emerging market of innovation brokers working in public services is a fragile underdeveloped market of SMEs that could be damaged by unhelpful policy making. We recommend that Government seeks to create propitious market conditions for innovation intermediaries working in public services - just as it has encouraged innovation intermediaries in hi-tec, high innovation, commercial sectors.