Projects Funded in 2022

 

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, announces the recipients of the Public Service Innovation Fund 2022

Successful Projects – Public Service Innovation Fund 2022

 

The call for projects under the Public Service Innovation Fund 2022, operated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform(DPER), closed on the 17th December 2021. A total of 17 successful projects have been selected by an industry panel to receive funding across three categories – digital transformation, citizen support innovation, and green & sustainability initiatives. Overall, DPER awarded €725,000 in supports across all projects.

Project Title: Establishing an Irish Local Government Information Sharing Analysis Centre (ISAC)

Organisation: Cork City Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €45,000

Information Sharing Analysis Centres (ISAC) are non-profit organisations that provide a central resource for gathering information on cyber threats as well as allowing two-way sharing of information between the private and the public sector. The ISAC would be comprised of all 31 local authorities and the Local government management agency. There are five collaborating partners in this proposal: Cork City Council, the LGMA, the HIS Liaison Group, IVI Maynooth University, and the NCSC.

Intended Outcomes:

1. The primary objective of the project is the establishment of the first Irish government ISAC.

2. The project will provide a national toolkit, centre of excellence and exemplar, for the entire public and private sector to mitigate against the ever-increasing cyber threat.

3. Agile response to cyber events, through shared learning and economies of scale arising from joint initiatives where previous individual ‘siloed’ approaches predominated the sectors approach.

4. This project will facilitate the establishment of ISACs across critical infrastructure sectors such as energy and transport will enable the NIS2 directive, the national cyber strategy and the EU 10 year cyber strategy launched in 2020.

Project Title: Women in Politics National Data Hub

Organisation: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €47,000

This projects aims to provide cohesive historic and real time data which will make visible the participation of women in political life since the foundation of the state to current day. This innovative national data hub will be the first of its kind in Ireland and will serve to inform strategies to engage a greater representation of a diversity of women in Irish politics while also raising public awareness of the National Strategy for Women and Girls.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Utilise geo mapping technology to help inform targeted interventions in areas of lower activity.

2. Provide valuable information to track progress to achieving equal representation

3. Help inform government policy to target resources to interventions based on the available evidence

4. Create a visual awareness of where women are more active in political life and where more women are needed,

5. Inform political parties and NGO’s like Women for Election and SHE with information to inform strategy and targeted interventions.

6. Integrate socio-economic variables to identify how political representation compares to demographic characteristics.

 

Project Title: Research Enabled Safe and Quality Healthcare services

Organisation: HSE

Sector: Health

Amount Awarded: €45,000

Evidence-based practice (EBP) integrates the best evidence from studies and patient care data with clinician expertise and patient preferences and values. When delivered in a context of caring and in a supportive organisational culture, the highest quality of care and best patient outcomes can be achieved. The HSE will implement the user-friendly National Electronic Research Management System (NERMS) to simplify the research approval process. NERMS will be developed and built in accordance with these requirements and will have significant structural flexibility to enable local workflow requirements while maintaining a national cohesive system architecture.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Impact on general healthcare, patient trust and international reputation.

2. Reduce costs by utilising a low-code platform.

3. Provide a platform for effective research and data governance ensuring appropriate ethical standards are in place.

Project Title: Lean Healthcare Trolley Design

Organisation: St James’s Hospital

Sector: Health

Amount Awarded: €35,000

This project seeks funding to develop two trolleys: one hygiene trolley to support patient hygiene, including shaving, washing, cleaning – this task currently involves a lot of fetching and bringing items during a single session; the second trolley will be related to endoscopes which need to be cleaned and made available for procedures in a short timeframe, and at present there is a lot of time wastage; the introduction of a new trolley could result in significant time savings, and would allow for 783 additional patient procedures per year.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Improve nursing contact time and hygiene practice with patients.

2. Create a leaner inventory process and associated costs related to over-consumption of supporting medical stock.

3. Better integration of equipment, reducing damage and increasing the lifetime of devices.

4. Enhance the application of 3D printing in the development of medical devices.

 

Project Title: Data Extraction from CRO Annual Reports

Organisation: Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) and the Companies Registration Office(CRO)

Sector: Civil Service

Amount Awarded: €45,000

This proposal will apply new advances in AI and Natural Language Processing algorithms to extract data in bulk from annual reports held by the CRO, transforming these large stores of unstructured data into a rich, structured database with numerous applications in analysis and research. AI-powered content-mining platforms will be used  to locate financial statement tables within the reports and arrange this data in a neat, consistent format. This will allow the comparison of companies and whole sectors on a like-for-like basis, and to produce highly accurate aggregate statistics.

Intended Outcomes:

1. A rich, structured database of company financial data for evidence-based policy analysis

2. Capacity to extract qualitative insights from reports such as business activities and risks

3. An innovative tool for checking compliance of documents submitted to the CRO

4. Enhance and enrich other enterprise datasets through secure data linkage

Project Title: Cyber Resilience Education for Primary & Post-Primary Schools (CREPS): A Collaborative and Innovative Cyber Security Outreach Programme

Organisation: UCD

Sector: Education

Amount Awarded: €40,000

The funding will be used to set up the UCD Centre for Cyber Resilience Education in Primary and Post-Primary Schools (CCREPPS) as a sustainable and self-sustaining infrastructure to support cyber resilience education for all. CCREPPS will be supported by a working group comprising representatives of UCD School of Education and School of Computer Science, DECC, NCSC, NCCA, CESI, Cyber Ireland and computer science and education academics.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Recruit up to 50 primary and 20 post-primary schools, with 30 pupils per school.

2. Develop research and resources for future awareness campaigns.

3. Explore issues of gender bias when teaching cybersecurity and develop awareness of the psychology that underpins such bias.

Project Title: Helping patients live well with chronic disease: The SmartCP mobile app for chronic pancreatitis

Organisation: Tallaght University Hospital, TCD, TU Dublin

Sector: Health

Amount Awarded: €55,000

This applications proposes the development of a smartphone mobile health (health) app to manage patients with chronic pancreatitis. This app (SmartCP app) will be patient-specific, managed centrally and designed for the provision of care for patients with chronic pancreatitis nationally.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Improve clinical symptoms, implement red-flag alerts & streamline care.

2. Improve patient experience & reduce hospital costs and patient expenses.

3. Create a platform for future research.

Project Title: I’M SAFE – Crew Recording and Operational Readiness Tool

Organisation: Defence Forces

Sector: Defence

Amount Awarded: €43,000

This projects seeks to develop a digital solution that contributes to the strict adherence to International regulation that exists for Irish Air Corps pilots & aircrew in Aircraft qualifications, Air Medicals, Crew Resource, Crew Duty Periods (Time in work or standby) and Flying Time Limitations (time in the air). All of these items must be tracked by an individual and it is their responsibility to ensure all items are kept up to date.  Having a single application to store updated data would greatly enhance the safety of all flights. The proficiency and currency of crews was highlighted as a high risk area in the No.3 Operations Wing Safety Audit. Inaccurate or incorrect data entry by pilots has been highlighted as an area of high concern by independent flight safety reviews by Air Corps flight safety section. The project will ensure the right data is available to the right people, at the right time.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Flights will be correctly authorised based on accurate information & pilots/aircrew will have easy access to qualification dates and expiry.

2. Units can accurately manage operational capability ‘In the moment’ and for forecast dates

3. Resources can be better managed to ensure operational capability is maintained

4. Training plans can be better scheduled to ensure all crews are kept current.

 

Project Title: Leitrim Connected

Organisation: Leitrim County Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €50,000

The proposed project envisages a new and comprehensive way of communicating key emergency and non-emergency information to the widest community possible using GIS technology based on ArcGIS integration. ArcGIS will facilitate the single entry and issue of geo-targeted alerts, across multiple channels (SMS, a dedicated messaging app, social media platforms) which will be of benefit to both the agencies operating the system and the citizens of Leitrim alike. Alerts can be targeted to citizens based on a number of criteria such as community area, distance from a location and a route corridor.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Promote the availability of new technology to establish Community Text Alert Groups throughout the County, energise existing groups.

2. Promote awareness of the vulnerability of the elderly in the community particularly those living alone, ensuring that they are identified by local members of An Garda Síochána(AGS) who will engage with them providing reassurance.

3. Consider initiatives to increase community interaction between the elderly and the AGS.

4. Participate on the Age Friendly Alliance and work towards alleviating the fear of crime among the elderly.

 

Project Title: 360 Virtual ‘what to expect’ Tour of Courts

Organisation: Court Service of Ireland

Sector: Justice

Amount Awarded: €35,000

This Project is aim to address/alleviate the fears of citizens attending Court and providing information on where to go and where to sit/stand while in court and allowing users to experience the courts environment prior to their hearing date. The project will create a 360 degree tour of court complexes, overlaid plain English audio-visual and text based content to support citizens to understand more about the complex and what to expect in court.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Provide users (particularly first-time users) ability to familiarise themselves with the court environment prior to their visit.

2. Supporting users to navigate through court buildings.

3. Enabling users to understand what to expect in court, court etiquette, reducing any fears and promoting engagement with the justice system.

Project Title: BETAhood

Organisation: Dublin City Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €35,000

This project will establish a BETAhood online platform, that will enable local neighbourhoods to request and trial ‘tactical urbanism’ solutions in their area and community. This solution will also feature a budgeting framework to allow local communities to make funding decisions, that will feature operational processes for the rapid deployment of innovative trials in local neighbourhoods and communities.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Develop a baseline ‘time to local deployment’ metric, tracking the time from an initial request through to the time to put into a neighbourhood.

2. Significantly decrease the time to deployment – from months to weeks.

3. Track the number of on-street deployments and measure against previous years

Project Title: Smart Bring Banks

Organisation: Waterford City and County Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €45,000

This project seeks to promote sustainable consumption patterns by diverting waste from landfill. The project will deploy sensors to bottle banks across pilot sites in Co Waterford which will manage the capacity of bottle banks, alerting bin company when the bottle bank is ready to be emptied. In addition, the sensors will be used to develop an app that can be used by the public to determine the capacity of a bottle bank before they make the journey.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Improve recycling rates in an effort towards achieving ‘75% recycling by 2030’ strategic goal.

2. Eliminate the cost to the council for cleaning glass dumped by the public on the ground around overflown bottle banks.

3. Reduce fossil fuel use by wasted journeys to bottle banks that are full.

4. Develop data and research around recycling patterns.

5. Utilise app alerts that provide information, environmental awareness and recycling rates among our users.

Project Title: A novel organic approach to the treatment and control of Japanese knotweed using microbial remediation as an alternative to pesticide use

Organisation: Donegal County Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €47,000

Donegal County Council proposes a novel approach to tackling the challenges of Japanese knotweed infestations using a specially prepared compost, in order to reduce costs associated with its treatment and reduce its impact on the environment and infrastructure. Japanese knotweed is regarded as one of Ireland’s top invasive plant species. Using the results of a pilot project coordinated by the Inishowen Rivers Trust, this project will examine the impact of mulch and extract to educe the growth of Japanese knotweed in a controlled manner and identify any challenges.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Protection of structural integrity of existing assets (bridges, culverts etc).

2. Health and safety – preservation of sight lines on road bends or junctions.

3. Health and safety – public health risk from giant hogweed.

4. Risk mitigation to future projects i.e. reduction or eradication at interface with proposed works.

5. Eliminating the need to procure, manage and supervise specialist contractors on a yearly basis.

6. Reducing time spent dealing with queries or complains about glyphosate usage.

7. Improving efficiencies based on both of the above and thus optimising the time spent providing a service.

Project Title: 7% Greenhouse gas reduction tracker

Organisation: Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI)

Sector: Non-commercial State agency

Amount Awarded: €30,000

There is no current solution to provide IFI the capability to capture real-time data to determine the achievement of measures to reach 7% reduction of greenhouse gases. This project seeks funding to introduce a monitoring system to alleviate the process and free up staff to carry out core duties. The monitoring system will introduce monitoring software at all electricity and gas meter points, monitoring progress towards a 7% greenhouse reduction.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Utilise data to identify cost savings and scope for future equipment investments.

2. Develop behavioural changes

3. Provide evidence on the impact of previous projects. This will make it easier to secure funding for future projects.

4. Multi-site access means energy managers and senior management have a real time overview of all buildings throughout the country – problems can be spotted without visiting buildings, improvements can be verified. Local workers can be informed of areas to investigate.

Project Title: GPP Criteria Selection Digital Tool

Organisation: Office of Government Procurement

Sector: Civil Service

Amount Awarded: €45,000

Proposed solution is a digital tool that selects the relevant criteria for a particular product or service would greatly encourage and facilitate use of the Irish Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria by the OGP and by contracting authorities alike. It would greatly reduce the time effort for individuals in finding the relevant criteria in the current documents, and should reduce error in their selection. Funding would be used to procure a digital tool to facilitate selection of relevant GPP criteria for specific procurements to pay a large percentage of the cost of the procurement of the GPP Criteria Selection Digital Tool.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Determine the appropriate green criteria to include in a procurement process.

2. Insert the relevant green criteria into a central purchasing arrangement e.g. a framework

3. Provide information to clients as to whether (and which) green criteria have been incorporated into arrangements

4. Provide information to clients as to whether there are other relevant criteria that should be incorporated by them as contracting authorities in the second-stage (mini competition) when using CPB frameworks

Project Title: AI Powered Road Asset Management

Organisation: Louth County Council

Sector: Local Government

Amount Awarded: €50,000

This project aims to develop a digital twin of the Louth road network. This initiative intends to use AI solutions to improve intelligent identification of potholes and other road defects, as well as providing valuable information on a number of other highway assets including traffic signs and road markings. The data collected would be incorporated into deterioration models and lifecycle planning models aimed at forecasting future condition of the road network and the required maintenance spend.

Intended Outcomes:

1. Survey over 90% of roads annually using RoadAI

2. Inspect the condition of >90% of utility trench reinstatements

3. Develop digital inspections through video footage, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions and safety benefits by having less personnel physically inspecting issues.

4. Reduce carbon emissions by leveraging journeys.