On Wednesday last week I attended the Commercial Investment Fund board with a view to securing some monies to progress three of our innovation group projects from prototype to product.

The Commercial Investment Fund has been made available to support projects that are either innovative or have the potential to generate returns for the council. In the case of our prototypes, they do both in that they're innovative and we can potentially market them to other organisations.

Meeting in the afternoon, I had 15 minutes to present our:

  • Desk Occupancy Monitor
  • Building Access Manager
  • Meeting Room Screens

That gave me only 5 minutes for each one and so I quickly briefed the group and took the opportunity to hand around the prototype devices we'd created so far.

I'm pleased to say they were all very well received and I secured money for each one along with a couple of stipulations. The Building Access Manager has to be in place in Westgate and Gateway at least by February 25th and the Meeting Room Screens need a little functionality adding to help with our current culture of booking rooms and leaving them empty.

These can be easily accomodated and over the next few weeks we'll be rapidly progressing the prototypes and getting them rolled out.

On a seperate note, we've also been asked if our Meeting Room Screens can be installed in the Library@TheLightBox to enable their agile approach to booking rooms. We're therefore now also working hard to meet the deadline there of the end of May ready for their June opening.

So, there are some great things happening. Three superb solutions developed in only a small number of day long workshops or hackdays as we like to call them.

If you'd like to be involved, if you have an idea you'd like to progress, check out the calendar of hack days on the innovation group sharepoint site and come down to the DMC reception at 9am. We'd love to introduce you to the group and get you involved. Obviously organise that with your line manager first.