Collaboration, skills and innovation: six months at Digital Jersey

Posted: 09/08/2023

Our CEO, Tony Moretta, reflects on the first half of 2023 and how far we have come as a digital nation.

In reflecting on the first half of 2023, it’s clear just how far we have come as a digital nation. We’ve moved beyond developing our own digital industry and with good foundations now in place, we’re nurturing digital innovation to drive transformation across all sectors of our economy and in all corners of island life.

Over the last six months, we’ve seen that play out in numerous ways – digital is improving our island, from hospitality, tourism and finance, to the not-for-profit, construction, and health sectors.

How are we doing it? Through a good deal of collaboration, a big focus on skills, and a huge emphasis on innovation.


Bringing the best people together to share knowledge, spark creativity and enable investment has been right at the forefront of our activity in 2023 so far.

Earlier in the year, for example, we welcomed members of the Google team to Jersey to talk to students, local entrepreneurs and Government officials about developing, testing and applying digital solutions to address a diverse range of community, social and environmental issues.

We followed that up by signing a new agreement with Mastercard that would see the two organisations work together on a Jersey Digital Partnership Programme over the coming three years. The partnership is already having a big impact – playing a big role in enabling Community Savings in Jersey to carry on offering a much-needed card facility to its customers.

And recently, we partnered with Grindstone, an accelerator with a formidable international reputation aimed at start-ups. ‘Grindstone Jersey’, with the support of a number of visionary local businesses, is set to provide training, mentorship and support for start-ups looking to scale, build their networks and accelerate their growth.

Making amazing things happen through collaborations like these forms a major part of our strategy and will continue to be important over the coming months.


Meanwhile, following the launch of our updated Digital Skills Strategy at the end of 2022, we’ve continued to focus considerably on upskilling this year, across multiple sectors of the economy.

In particular, Digital Jersey partnered with Visit Jersey to help give the island’s tourism and hospitality industry a digital boost through a series of specialist skills sessions.

More recently, we launched a new Digital Skills Credits pilot scheme to make it easier and more cost effective for individuals and businesses to access courses and workshops. Aimed at bridging the digital skills gap in the island, the scheme, which runs until the end of the year, enables islanders to continue to access a vast array of free courses, while also making it easier to plan, sign up and pay for other courses and workshops.

A poll taken at our skills strategy launch in November last year highlighted that almost 60% of people think their organisation is ‘very affected’ by a shortage of digital skills and we’re very clear that the need for digital skills, in all areas of our economy, is only going to grow. Continuing to invest in education and training is essential if we are to continue to position ourselves as a thriving digital centre.



Finally, encouraging innovation has been right at the centre of our output in 2023, and we’ve seen some major innovation-driven initiatives come to fruition in recent months.

Our first ever Tech Start-Up Bootcamp, for instance, gave an impressive and diverse group of ambitious local innovators the supporting framework they need to take their ideas to the next level. They benefited from a comprehensive twelve-week program, culminating in a pitch event that gave one of them the opportunity to attend the major Slush tech start-up conference in Helsinki this year.

We also established the first ever ‘data trust’ under Jersey Trust Law – the LifeCycle Data Trust pilot project aims to position Jersey as a leading jurisdiction for data stewardship. It involves data being collected by 500 cyclists through special bike sensors, with that data then being held in the trust. It’s a ground-breaking project with massive potential – and the reaction we’ve received to it has been phenomenal.

And most recently, we launched the first open grant programme forming part of the new Impact Jersey scheme. The programme will see grants of up to £75,000 awarded to local innovators to enable them to develop tech-driven solutions to some of Jersey’s biggest challenges. It’s a massively exciting approach to funding the introduction of new technologies to Jersey.



It’s fitting that, also in the first half of this year, we celebrated the winners of the fifth annual Jersey TechAwards – the biggest ever Jersey TechAwards with nearly 500 attendees representing diverse organisations from right across our economy, including Government.

It’s a reflection of why Digital Jersey exists– to enable the adoption of technology in non-digital sectors of the economy, and champion the importance of digital solutions in all areas of society, as well as help our tech businesses grow.

Our busy programme of activity, rolled out by a hard-working team over the first half of 2023, is business as usual for Digital Jersey – and over the coming months, it’s important we maintain that momentum.

We’ll see the first round of awards from Impact Jersey and the launch of the first ‘challenge’ initiative through the scheme; we’ll begin to unpick the learnings of our data trust pilot; we’ll see further positive outcomes from our strategic partnerships; we’ll launch our next Bootcamp; and we’ll support hundreds of islanders with their digital skills needs.

All this is important – because our success as an island depends on our collective ability to integrate digital technologies in smart and diverse ways.

Here’s to the next six months…!

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