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Digital Jersey appoints not-for-profit Challenge Works as partner to design £20 million Technology Accelerator Programme

Posted: Tuesday 20 September 2022

  • Digital Jersey has appointed social enterprise, Challenge Works, as its partner for the design of the island’s inaugural Technology Accelerator Programme.
  • Programme will empower Jersey’s residents and businesses to use technology to respond to economic, environmental, and social issues, including the climate crisis.
  • Partnership will drive growth opportunities for local businesses and create a raft of economic opportunities for Jersey’s entrepreneurs.

Digital Jersey, today announces it has appointed leading not-for-profit, Challenge Works, which was founded by the UK’s innovation agency Nesta, to design Jersey’s first-ever Technology Accelerator Programme.

The Accelerator Programme – plans for which were announced in March this year – will support the island to fully utilise technology to support economic, environmental, and social issues, for example responding to the climate crisis.

It will ultimately be focused on delivering value and growth opportunities for Jersey’s businesses and the wider economy, and will be designed to contribute to the upskilling, and improved health and wellbeing of islanders.

Challenge Works, a not-for-profit social enterprise formerly known as Nesta Challenges, was appointed following a competitive procurement process. Founded in 2012, it is an established global leader in the design and delivery of high-impact programmes that incentivise innovation for social good. It partners with organisations, charities, and governments around the globe to unearth the innovations that can solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Digital Jersey and Challenge Works will work closely with members of the Jersey community, Government and Scrutiny to design the £20 million, government-funded programme, ensuring it is built around the unique needs of the island’s businesses and residents.

During the design phase, particular attention will be paid to ensuring the £20 million of government funds are distributed transparently and appropriately, and in a way that will maximise the benefit to Jersey’s economy.

Tony Moretta, CEO, Digital Jersey, comments: “This is an extremely exciting time for us in Jersey. The Programme we are building – in partnership with the team at Challenge Works – will impact the whole island, opening the doors to a more prosperous and productive future. Jersey is abundant in entrepreneurial ambition, and Challenge Works will help us to design a programme that understands and utilises all this potential, putting our island on the map as the talented, diverse and ambitious community we are.”

Deputy Alex Curtis, Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for digital technology said:
“The Technology Accelerator Programme can be a hugely important enabler to diversifying Jersey’s economy, reducing our dependence on a single sector and solving Island challenges through digital approaches. The process to identify the relevant design partner has been extensive and Digital Jersey are confident that Challenge Works has the relevant experience, commercial focus and risk appetite to support the development of a Technology Accelerator Programme for Jersey.
It is crucial that the Technology Accelerator Programme is designed appropriately with robust governance, and in line with strategic aims to ensure it delivers the benefits Islanders expect it to for Jersey.”

Chris Gorst, Director, Challenge Works, comments: “The Technology Accelerator Programme is an opportunity to support Jersey’s businesses and residents to think differently and operate with greater levels of agility in a smart, focused and entrepreneurial manner. By working closely with Digital Jersey and the local community, we will design a programme that delivers real, tangible value for Jersey’s businesses, residents, and the wider economy.”

The Challenge Works team will be in Jersey this week (w/c 19th September 2022) to meet with the Digital Jersey team and other stakeholders to kickstart the programme design.

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