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Develop your innovative thinking with Infuse

Published : 13/04/22 | Categories: News |

If you work for a voluntary sector organisation in the Cardiff Capital Region, you can now apply to join the Infuse programme to develop your skills in innovative and different ways of thinking.

WHAT IS INFUSE?

Infuse is an innovation and research programme designed to build skills and capacity for innovative future public services across the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR).

The programme is built around opportunities to tackle real-life questions, driven by the biggest challenges faced by the CCR: Accelerating Decarbonisation and Supportive communities.

Participants will work together to acquire tools and methods to develop innovative ideas, ask good data questions and use data to enable effective decision making, and to maximise ‘social value’ when spending public money.

Infuse is a collaboration between Cardiff University, Y Lab, Nesta, CCR and the ten local authorities that make up the region, led by Monmouthshire County Council. The programme is supported by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government.

Applications for the programme are now open to all public and third sector organisations in the Cardiff Capital Region.

HOW WILL THE PROGRAMME BE DELIVERED?

Delivered over six months, participants can expect to progress through five phases designed to inspire new ways of working and change their mentality.

  • The Inspire phase is about challenging the status quo, exploring potential, considering the art of the possible and asking ‘what if…?’
  • The Learn and Activate phase lays the foundations for innovation. Collaborative relationships form and appetite for change is increased.
  • Next is Learn and Explore, building knowledge and skills in the innovation labs, focussing on collaboration and their team challenge.
  • The Experiment phase tests ideas in a safe environment where failure is a success as it informs learning.
  • The final phase is Celebration, where participants share learning with the group. With coaching and mentoring throughout, by the end of the programme every participant has the confidence and capability to put the newly acquired skills into real world practice.

These phases will be delivered through three ‘Labs’ with specific goals:

The Adaption Lab – participants will be provided with information and tools to help them understand how to adopt or adapt innovations successfully to suit their context and needs.

The Data Lab – which enables participants to make more effective use of data in decision-making.

The Procurement Lab – which supports participants to learn, develop and test new processes and methods for procuring innovative products and services.

OUTCOMES AND STORIES SO FAR…

‘Cohort Alpha’ and ‘Cohort One’ have already proven a resounding success, nurturing ground-breaking ideas that are developing into inspired innovations across a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Town centres are dying – how do we save them?
  • Are we overlooking waste streams (like dog waste) that could be a viable bio energy solution?
  • Embedding an ‘Assets Based Community Development’ approach in local authorities
  • Mapping residential areas for prioritised decarbonisation
  • How to increase the sustainable production and supply of locally grown food in Wales?
  • Can a carbon dashboard help us better understand & reach our carbon emissions goals?
  • What needs to change to resolve our care crisis?
  • Does increased carbon literacy help us reduce our carbon footprint in Wales?

‘I couldn’t have imagined the opportunities and conversations I’d be having when I went into Infuse! Although it’s been tough, it’s led to collaborations and conversations with some incredible people.’ Gareth, Cohort One

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Cohort Two applications are open now until Friday 11 May, 2022

Visit the Infuse website to find out more information and apply.

Infuse’s latest newsletter can be found here

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