External evaluation of Innovation Exchange programme

October 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

By Sophie Byrne

Innovation Unit commissioned an external evaluation of its  Innovation Exchange programme, which was funded by the Cabinet Office.  The evaluation was completed by Middlesex University and looked at both our Next Practice programme and Festival of Ideas work.  The evaluation recognises that, although Innovation Exchange has not been in existence for long, there have been clear successes and impacts.

The evaluation concludes that Innovation Exchange helped to unblock and develop markets for community and voluntary sector projects so that they can grow and scale their work around specific social issues, such as enabling independent living.  Indeed, some of these innovative projects attributed the winning of successful contracts to the direct brokerage support received from Innovation Exchange.  These impact stories are important and are an encouraging early endorsement of our work.

But, equally, the evaluation has acted as a critical friend, demonstrating that we still have some way to go. For example, it advised that we need to be more nimble when we design support packages for individual Next Practice participants, so that they are tailored to innovators’ skills and needs. This feedback is being taken into consideration for the Green Next Practice programme where we hope to build on this learning and continue to develop this area of work.

You can read the full evaluation here.  We would welcome your thoughts about the evaluation particularly in relation to your own brokerage work,so  feel free to get in touch with John Craig.

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Entry filed under: Green Next Practice, Innovation Policy, Research, Third Sector Innovation.

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