Ireland’s second ever Public Sector Innovation Week took place from November 8 – 12 and UCD Innovation Academy was proud to support this important effort to encourage and enable innovation across all parts of the Irish public service.In the run up to Innovation Week, Professor Suzi Jarvis, the Innovation Academy’s founding director, participated in the inaugural meeting of the Public Service Innovation Advisory Board. Suzi joined other innovation leaders from a range of sectors who will make up the Advisory Board. The Board’s purpose is to monitor the effective implementation of the Public Service Innovation Strategy by providing relevant advice and to challenge and support the Public Service on innovation policy and activity.


“The pandemic triggered a strong spirit of innovation across the public service, along with a realisation of our high level of interdependence in ensuring excellent service delivery.”

“Building on this the Making Innovation Real framework empowers all staff across the public and civil service to bring an innovative mindset into our everyday approach, while Public Service Innovation Week has given us a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our existing collaborations and initiate new ones as we rise to meet the challenge of creating a sustainable future for all our citizens.” commented Prof Suzi Jarvis.

UCD Innovation Academy supported a number of efforts across the broader Public Sector as part of Innovation Week:

Suzi Jarvis was part of a four person judging panel for the Defence Forces Innovation Awards. The awards recognise innovative technologies and work practices at all stages of development from concept, early stage research through to more advanced projects or solutions. The Awards were announced at Casemont Aerodrome, Baldonnel by Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, Defence Forces Chief of Staff, and attended by the Academy’s Strategic Partnership Lead, Eleanor Kelly.

Education Innovation Leads, Eileen Diskin and Mairead Pratschke, hosted a design thinking workshop – ‘Ideate to Create’ – with 30 participants from across the public sector, including Enterprise Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Department of Agriculture, county councils from across Ireland and many more. The morning workshop was a whirlwind of activity and ideation, bringing participants through the fundamentals of design thinking, allowing them to apply their knowledge to real scenarios and to develop action plans for how they might carry their insights forward. 

Alan Morgan, Programme Director for the Academy’s Professional Diploma in Creativity and Innovation for  Education presented to an audience of 14 from the Department of Education on the need for creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset in Ireland’s education system.

Also during the week, the UCD Innovation Academy team hosted a workshop for Enterprise Ireland called ‘The Power of Empathy in Customer Led Innovation’. The workshop offered an introduction to design thinking with a particular focus on empathy as a tool to gain fresh insights into the needs of clients, customers, users that form the basis for future solutions to meet these needs. 

To finish off the week, the team facilitated a discussion with the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment on hybrid working. Building on this week of intense collaboration, the team will host a number of hackathons with the Environmental Protection Agency later in November.

Since its foundation in 2010, UCD Innovation Academy has collaborated with the wider Irish public sector. Hundreds of public sector workers have participated in the Academy’s different programmes and workshops including members of the Garda Siochána, Prison Services, Defence Forces, Enterprise Ireland, the Courts Service, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, National Shared Services Office, An Bord Pleanála and numerous government departments.

15th November 2021