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The Open Innovation Team: An Independent Evaluation of a Cabinet Office Initiative

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsCommissioned report

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Abstract

The Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team (‘OIT’) was set up in 2016 to help Whitehall departments generate analysis and ideas by deepening collaboration with academics. In practice, this requires the OIT to engage deeply with the policy work of multiple departments, and the many academics who might be relevant and valuable to those policy makers. Through events, workshops, individual meetings, tailored reports and literature reviews, the OIT brings these new sources of academic expertise in to Whitehall to help shape government thinking.
The OIT is relatively small, with four full time officials and a rotating group of PhD students on secondment from leading UK universities. Despite this size, the ability of the OIT to catalyse new relationships and knowledge sharing is already evident (see OIT reports to University partners).
The OIT’s pilot phase ends in late 2018, and the team is now agreeing a second round of funding from university partners. These partners provide the financial resource to cover direct salary and operating expenses, whilst Cabinet Office covers location and infrastructure costs, making this a unique business model within government in terms of its funding approach and ways of working.
This review captures insights from 14 months of academic research with the OIT, in order to:
▪ Make visible the promising practices developed by the OIT, giving stakeholders a greater understanding of its strategic choices, operating structures, and ways of creating value.
▪ Shape management practice within the OIT through our analysis and recommendations.
▪ Provide an evaluation of the OIT that yields actionable information for all stakeholders.