Public Services > Central Government

News in Brief - May 10

Neil Merrett Published 10 May 2016

Total G-Cloud spend exceeds £1.14bn, smart technologies triumph at BT SME awards and the Digital Catapult unveils Jeremy Silver as its new chief executive

G-Cloud and DSF spend updated to March 2016

Total G-Cloud sales up to the end of March 2016 have reached £1.14bn, according to the latest figures provided by the government.

Since launching in 2012, 53% of spending through the framework, which is used to obtain cloud commodity services in the public sector, has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on a value basis. This figure increases to 62% in volume terms.

Central government was found to remain the key driver for demand through G-Cloud, accounting for 76% of all sales.

The agreement is available through the government's Digital Marketplace platform, along with the second iteration of the outgoing Digital Services Framework (DSF2).

Total sales through both iterations of the DSF up to the end of March reached £54.7m. Of this spending, 42% was found to have gone to SMEs on a volume basis, with central government accounting for 85% of all services obtained through the agreement.

DSF2, which is scheduled to remain available to public sector buyers up to November, is expected to be replaced by the recently launched Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) agreement.

BT and Cabinet Office unveil winners of smart city-focused SME awards

A smart cycle-light technology that can link up with phones and functions as a sensor to inform authorities about traffic and other road conditions has been chosen as the overall winner of this year's BT Infinity Lab SME Awards, which focused on technology to support more connected cities.

Northern Ireland-based See.Sense was among the three winners chosen from a shortlist of 70 companies, going on to win a top prize of £15,000 after impressing judges from BT and the Cabinet Office with a new technology intended to improve the safety of cyclists.

Although early days in the technology's development, the company has claimed that the ICON intelligent and connected smart light has built in sensors that can relay data about crashes, near-miss events or road surface quality, if the cyclist chooses to share the information.

Prizes were also presented to Sitekit, which won a Connected Society award for its work around an eRedbook that can be used to digitally record and manage the health and development of children.

London-based Vivacity Labs was selected as winner of the Internet of Things (IoT) section for its intelligent camera technology that is anticipated to enable more reactive traffic lights and curb the need for manual data collection by councils.

The prizes were presented by Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock, who played up the importance of new sensor and smart technologies to help improve government and wider public sector services.

"To achieve this we need to draw on the expertise of digital innovators from all over the country, especially small businesses, which we know to be some of the most innovative in the UK," he said.

"I am delighted to be supporting these awards and I give my heartfelt congratulations to the winners."

With the awards in their eighth year, Ian Dalton, president of government and health with BT, said the competition process demonstrated how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are reshaping the public sector and UK cities.

"With around one million SME customers, BT has a strong interest in helping them innovate and thrive. We also have a role to play in shaping connected cities of the future, so it's great to work with the Cabinet Office and our other partners to play a part in helping both to develop.

Digital Catapult appoints new chief executive

The Digital Catapult organisation has appointed Jeremy Silver as its new chief executive in order to lead its ongoing work on encouraging responsible data sharing initiatives.

The catapult was established to look at the unique challenges facing the sharing of personal, closed and licensed data.

In starting his new role next month, Silver - a former chief executive who has worked across the IT sector and held senior roles at Virgin Records and EMI, noted the ongoing radical transformation happening within UK society as a result of digital innovation from academia, start-ups and larger companies.

"I'm excited to be able to help grow the catapult's contribution to accelerating that process through encouraging and increasing the responsible sharing of data," he said. "Other new areas such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, offer further opportunities for digital innovation."

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