Public Sector Innovation Conference
25th February 2020

One Whitehall Place, The Royal Horseguards Hotel, SW1A 2EJ London


Following the enormous success of the first Public Sector Innovation Conference, we returned to this important topic a year on and post the general election. In the intervening year we have seen an explosion of AI, the mainstreaming of Innovation programmes in new departments and across Local Government, as well as a further year of the GovTech programme.

We split the day into three themes with space to develop discussion at a policy, delivery and expert level:

Firstly we heard from the Office for AI and discussed how we can utilise AI across the whole of society – with transformation across Government as a key part of this. The Office for AI has worked with the World Economic Forum to co-design AI Procurement Guidelines for the public sector. The Guidelines aim to drive more responsible and more efficient, innovative procurement of AI systems. This feeds into a new dynamic AI marketplace to launch in Autumn 2020.

Upskilling the workforce within and outside of Government to be AI experts and intelligent customers is also critical. GDS and ONS are working together on a data science skills audit to understand the strengths and weaknesses in data science and AI across government.
The Office for AI is maximising high-calibre capacity with initiatives throughout the skills and education pipeline to support and drive economic growth. Skills are an important area for the independent AI Council, who advises the Office for AI and the rest of Government on matters relating to AI.

The next theme was innovation in Central Government departments, where, looking back since the last conference, there has been lots of great progress made by a wide variety of organisations often collaborating across sectors improving, for example, NHS productivity through digital transformation.

Finally, we reviewed Local Government and GovTech initiatives and their impacts a year on. Focusing on how cross-sector collaboration between emerging tech businesses in the private sector have created innovative solutions for use across the whole of the public sector. As part of this theme, we celebrated 4 great examples of public sector innovation that have been implemented in the last year.

Headline Partner:

Supporting Partners:

Government Partners:


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Registration and networking breakfast – 8.30am

Conference Open – 9.30am

Thread One: AI in Government – One year on

Office for AI Keynote: AI in Government – Ed Teather, Head of Strategy and International, Office for AI – 9.40am

Fireside Chat: How can Government scale innovation? – Yatin Mahandru, Head of Public Sector at Cognizant; and Nitika Agarwal, COO at Apolitico- 9.50am

Panel Discussion: AI and emerging tech – Chaired by Dr. Stefan Janusz, Office for AI.

Panellists: Dr. Shruti Kohli, DWP Digital; Jenny O’Connor, GDS; Nick Manton, GDS; and Ian Charvill, Crown Commercial Service – 10.15am

Morning Coffee Break – 11.00am

Thread Two: Innovation in Government

Keynote Speech: London – Innovating a global city – Theo Blackwell MBE, London’s Chief Digital Officer- 11.35am

Fireside Chat: Innovating in the Health Sector – Dr. Indra Joshi, Head of Digital Health and AI at NHSX; and Rhod Joyce, Head of Partnerships at NHSX- 11.45am

Panel Discussion: Transforming Health – Challenge accepted – Chaired by Professor Mark Thompson,


Panellists: Lesley Soden, Health Innovation Network; Neil Daly, Skin Analytics; and Colm Hayden, Anaeko- 12.15pm

Lunch Break – 13.00pm

Thread Three: Local Government Innovation

Fireside Chat: How can we develop the skills we need to deliver on the opportunities for innovation we have? – Priya Lakhani, AI Council Member and CEO, CENTURY Tech; and Seth Finegan, UK CEO at Informed Solutions- 14.05pm

Panel Discussion: Technology and City Innovation – Chaired by Paul Maltby, MHCLG.

Panellists: Phil Swan, Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Stephen Blackburn, Leeds City Council; Liz St Louis, Sunderland City Council; and Lisa Talia Moretti, Methods14.35pm

Panel Discussion: Innovation in Action – Chaired by Breandan Knowlton, GDS.

Panellists: Cath Fallon, Monmouthshire County Council; Barbara Mills, The Scottish Government; Matt Lewis, DVLA; and Deborah Colville, Belfast City Council – 15.15pm

Summit Final Remarks From Conference Chair – 15.50pm

Final Networking Coffee – 16.00pm

Event Closes – 16.30pm



One Whitehall Place, The Royal Horseguards Hotel

The second Public Sector Innovation Conference returns to One Whitehall Place once again, to review the impressive innovation work done in the public sector.

Who Attends

With over 200 decision makers attending, the Conference is a unique opportunity for your organisation to engage and showcase your innovative products and services to the public sector. The public sector is invite only from our GDS and DCMS partners, but they will invite a wide range of central and local government providers including:


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