The UK Government has published its Innovation Strategy for using new technologies in public services, with an emphasis on building skills, providing the environment for experimentation and better harnessing data.

The Government Technology and Innovation Strategy was launched by Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden and published alongside new guidance on the use of AI in government and the launch of the new Spark procurement framework for the sector.

The document highlights the three main themes – headlined as people, processes and technology – with plans for how each will be developed.

Efforts to develop the environment for experimentation will include an emphasis on procurement and business case processes and scaling up successful solutions. They include the launch of the Spark marketplace to encourage an open and agile approach in dealing with emerging technologies and their suppliers, and more procurement based on specific public service challenges, such as those within the GovTech Catalyst programme.

The data priorities include an emphasis on the need for public bodies to access and analyse data safely and efficiently, the use of flexible technology components and platforms, and the development of effective standards to help share best practice.

Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden CBE MP said: “The UK has led the world in harnessing technology to transform public services, but we cannot afford to sit back. Adoption of new technologies by the private sector is changing how people live their lives and the public sector has to pick up the pace to stay relevant.

“Artificial intelligence is already being used to identify rogue garages and improve prison safety, but government can go much further. New technologies like AI can deliver better services for less and I am determined that government is at the forefront of this revolution.

“Through initiatives like Spark, I also want to make it easier for start-ups and small businesses to deliver services for government so that we make the most of the UK’s thriving govtech sector.”