First Open Programme Launch

The first grant programme to be launched as part of the new Digital Jersey-run Impact Jersey scheme is an exciting moment in Jersey’s evolution as a digital-first island, according to speakers at a public briefing held this week (28 June) to mark its launch.

Speaking to a full house of innovators at the Digital Jersey hub, representatives from Digital Jersey and the Government of Jersey, including Deputy Alex Curtis, Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta and Digital Jersey Head of Strategy Mariota Smutz, outlined the potential impact they anticipate the
programme could have in solving real-world problems, in line with a number of strategic objectives from productivity, skills and housing, to climate change, transport and health.

How will the programme work?

How the programme would work in practice was also clarified, with the application process aimed at being as simple and transparent as possible and ‘bids’ from individuals and businesses being assessed by an independent panel of judges.The first small grant programme provides local innovators with the opportunity to be awarded up to £75,000 to enable them to focus their ingenuity on solving real issues for Jersey – and Digital Jersey also confirmed that this would be the first of a number of such small grant programmes, with ‘challenge’ programmes also anticipated in due course offering much larger grant opportunities.

Innovators now have until Thursday 31st August 2023 to submit their entry.

Speaking after the event, Tony Moretta said:

“The attendance at this briefing and the range of questions attendees had confirms our thinking – that we have a committed, enthusiastic and engaged community of innovators, ready to step up and deliver tech-driven solutions that can help address some of the issues Jersey faces. This is a bold scheme, the likes of which we have not seen before in Jersey. But if we are collectively to make progress and really get to grips with some of the issues we are all faced with, we need to be bold and reframe how we think about risk.”

“It’s why we’ve spent a huge amount of time on the design phase of Impact Jersey – we want it to be transparent with good governance whilst at the same time giving our innovators the freedom to develop groundbreaking solutions. It’s not about investing in start-ups – this is about empowering our digital experts, encouraging collaboration, and giving local people a unique platform to make their fantastic ideas become reality and make a genuine impact. That’s an exciting prospect.”