Responsible innovation monthly round up – December

Written by Catherine Makin on 18 Dec, 20
Responsible innovation

A regular update on activities within our responsible innovation theme.

What we’ve been doing:

We are working in partnership with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) to develop an ethical data governance framework in collaboration with colleagues in Bristol City Council’s Information Governance team. Supporting the ambitions of its One City Plan, the Council is seeking to harness the power of data to make the city a more fair and inclusive place. As the Council seeks to use data to improve services, it wants to ensure that its approach is ethical, inclusive, transparent, and driven by responsible innovation. The CDEI, whose remit is to help the UK navigate the ethical challenges presented by AI and data-driven technology, is working on a range of projects to test new approaches to responsible innovation. The CDEI will make recommendations for the Council to enable innovation in local government use of data while maintaining public trust.

Where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

The TechUK Digital Ethics Summit 2020 was an agenda packed with thought provoking content and discussions. A key focus of the conversation was around public engagement, public trust and developing a better understanding of public attitudes about digital and data. This looks set to be a key trend for 2021 and into the future with growing calls for a public debate on technology, ethics and regulation.

We had a rare opportunity to discuss digital inclusion with colleagues in other UK cities at a recent meeting of the UK Smart Cities Network, including presentations from 100% Digital Leeds and Leicester City Council. We’re learning from the work underway in other cities to inform our own programmes and initiatives here in Bristol as we work to address the digital divide in our city.

    What we’ve read:

    100% Digital Leeds have launched a new Digital Inclusion Toolkit, in partnership with Croydon Council through the MHCLG Local Digital COVID-19 Challenge fund. This new online resource is for people wanting to improve their delivery of digital inclusion. The aim is for the toolkit to become a collaborative resource that is constantly updated. Access the toolkit at

    Microsoft recently produced their UK digital skills gap report: Unlocking the UK’s Potential with Digital Skills. The report explores the state of digital skills in UK organisations and makes recommendations for improvements. The report includes a framework that outlines digital capability as a combination of six skill areas – the Building Digital Capability model developed by Jisc.

    What we want to share:

    Nesta are looking for cities to partner with them on their Climate Smart Cities Challenge, to run city-based open innovation competitions. These competitions will help selected cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create other social benefits, by matching their needs with partners across the world to develop and scale solutions. The cities selected as partners will have an opportunity to co-design an open innovation competition for their city around a specific challenge, supported by a team of experts. Find out more and apply by 22 January.

    The Bristol Innovators Group continues to go from strength to strength with over 300 members now part of the network.  Find out more or join the network via the LinkedIn group.

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