ADD2253 Innovation Clusters - rotating secondment programme (pilot)

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2253
Date signed: 
07 August 2018
Decision by: 
Debbie Jackson, Assistant Director of Regeneration

Executive summary

This programme will pilot the first year of a rotating secondment programme across participating members of the Knowledge Quarter. The Knowledge Quarter is a consortium of knowledge based institutions supporting innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange. It is located in a small area around King’s Cross and Euston Road, and comprises over 80 knowledge based partner organisations across high profile research and academia, culture, science, media, smart city and technology sectors. The Knowledge Quarter has established connections to achieve productive partnerships, networks and creative interaction.

It is anticipated that each secondment to the GLA will rotate across Knowledge Quarter members every 4-6 months. The total cost of this pilot programme will be £50,000, which will be spent on staff costs, with £25,000 funded by the GLA and £25,000 funded by participating Knowledge Quarter partners. If successful it is anticipated that the programme is rolled out across other knowledge and innovation clusters.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Regeneration and Economic Development approves the expenditure of up to £25,000 to fund 50% of staff costs of secondees to the GLA from participating Knowledge Quarter members.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

This programme will pilot the first year of a rotating secondment programme across participating members of the Knowledge Quarter - one of the greatest knowledge clusters in the world, located in a small area around Kings Cross and Euston Road, comprised of 80 knowledge based partner organisations across high profile research and academia, culture, science, media, smart city and technology sectors. It is anticipated that each secondment will rotate across Knowledge Quarter members every 4-6 months, although the exact time period will depend upon staff availability and the projects proposed. The total cost of this programme will be £50,000. The GLA will cover half of the staff costs of the programme, paid directly to the secondee’s substantive employer, with the other half being funded by the employer.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The aims of the secondment are to:

- Increase collaboration between City Hall policy makers and London’s innovation ecosystem, embedding a culture of policy co-design and co-delivery.
- Raise awareness of emerging areas of economic opportunity that the Mayor should proactively support.
- Feed into the development and delivery of the Mayor’s industrial strategy for London.
- Enable the development of delivery partnerships / coalitions of the willing to support the Mayor to maximise innovation and growth.

In practical terms this would mean each secondee:

- Leads on a ‘deep dive’ into a sector / industry area.
- Supports business engagement events with the Mayor’s Office to engage the wider ecosystem.
- Works with policy leads across the GLA family to develop sector specific plans that will help drive future innovation and growth.
- Works with City Hall and the Mayor’s Office to enable delivery.

If successful after the first year, the model could be widened out to other ‘innovation clusters’ across London.

It is hoped that the secondment programme will provide access to the expertise City Hall needs to co-develop new strategies that will help drive London’s future growth. The secondment programme will enable increased engagement across key business sectors and knowledge-based institutions, embedding a culture of policy co-design and co-delivery to support innovation and productivity growth.

Equality comments

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor and GLA must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). Compliance with the Act may involve, in particular, removing or minimising any disadvantage suffered by those who share a relevant protected characteristic, taking steps to meet the needs of such people; and encouraging them to participate in public life, or in any other activity where their participation is disproportionately low, including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding. In limited circumstances it may require treating people with a protected characteristic more favourably than those without the characteristic.

The secondment programme is consistent with the Mayor’s public sector equality duty. In the development of policy and projects the secondee will look for opportunities to promote diversity across London’s innovation ecosystem (such as encouraging female and BAME representation on event panels) and look for opportunities to advance the equality of opportunity across different industry sectors. The GLA will also pay due regard to the public sector equality duty in the recruitment of secondees.

Other considerations

The Mayor has put engagement with industry at the top of the business agenda. His manifesto states ‘I’ll make engagement with industry – from small independents and start-ups to global corporations – a key part of decision making at City Hall.’ ‘I will work in partnership with business to deliver solutions to the challenges that hold growth back’. These ambitions are set out in the Mayor’s draft Economic Development Strategy. The Knowledge Quarter secondment programme will enable increased engagement across key business sectors and institutions to address those challenges and embed a culture of policy co-design and co-delivery.

The success of the programme will be reviewed after 12 months in terms of the contribution the secondees have made to the development and delivery of London’s industrial strategy.

Financial comments

The GLA cost of up to £25,000 for this pilot scheme will be funded from the Development, Enterprise & Environment Minor Programme budget for 2018-19.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Delivery Start Date

October 2018

Delivery End Date

October 2019

Project Closure

October 2019