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New fund launched to generate tech solutions to lighten teaching workloads

27/11/2017 Joanna

The government has set up a new fund to help generated tech-driven solutions to challenges facing teachers and other public sector workers.

A GovTech Catalyst team has been established to oversee the £20 million fund, which will be offered to UK-based technology companies to incentivise them to deliver innovative fixes to issues faced by the public sector at present.

New solutions for reducing teaching workloads and freeing up teachers' time for more crucial tasks were cited as a specific example of the kind of work that could be funded, as well as initiatives to reduce traffic jams and improve the experiences of patients visiting their GPs.

Tech firms bidding to the fund will have full control over the design of the solutions they are creating, with successful bidders receiving funding to cover research and development costs. Once a finalised product is created, the public sector body in question can then choose to buy it from the company.

The fund will be made available from 2018-19 to 2020-21, and is designed to help address potential barriers to productivity, thereby saving time for teachers and public sector staff, while also reducing overall costs and helping to deliver a higher standard of service.

It is also hoped that tech companies will see the prospect of working with public sector organisations on high-profile projects as a prime opportunity to attract global interest.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "Britain is a world leader in digital innovation, with some of the brightest and best tech firms operating in this country. Working with us, they can provide technological fixes to public sector problems, boost productivity, and get the nation working smarter as we create an economy fit for the future."

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