Public Service Enterprise

Having spent fifteen years financing new technology companies before coming to Westminster, I know that we are never going to become a true Innovation Nation unless it starts at home. That's why I believe we must put enterprise and innovation at the heart of our public sector – using it as a catalyst for new approaches and ideas, not the last place where those changes take place, as if so often the case. We have an unrivalled chance to make the NHS the world leader in digital health and precision medicine, but only if we put in place major changes. We need the next Richard Branson or James Dyson to be as comfortable in the corridors of Whitehall as the conference rooms of Canary Wharf. If we do, this moment can help lead to a new cycle of local and national growth and a new age of prosperity. 

Here are two big ideas to drive a revolution of Public Sector Enterprise:

  • Genomics England & Digital NHS. Britain led the world in creating the NHS. But, seventy years later, our system is still being run on paper files and treasury tags. To lead the world again, we urgently need to make our modern NHS a pioneer in digital health, with genomics and precision medicine at the heart of a truly 21st-century service. If we succeed, we can then export our expertise around the world, creating a truly virtuous circle that benefits patients and and industry alike.
     
  • Public Sector Leadership Academy. Running a key public sector service is one of the most important jobs in our country. But, frequently, we let people run major public sector organisations without any proper management background or experience. That's why we need to get serious about training up the best and the brightest to lead a post-Brexit transformation of our public sector. Working with the Chancellor, we have launched the first ever UK Public Sector Leadership Academy, ensuring that our leaders of tomorrow get the crucial advice and training they need.

Background

These policies are the sharp end of over 10 years’ work – in my career before Parliament and as an MP & Minister – on the frontline of supporting innovators in public services.

When I first came to Parliament in 2010, I championed Government initiatives to help the life science sector: the biomedical catalyst fund, the patent box, tax breaks for start-up companies. and the catalyst fund’s first annual report which showed that more than £1 billion has been raised in five new early stage funds in the UK, with more than 50 innovative medical projects coming to the NHS.

As the world’s first Minister for Life Sciences (2014-16), I initiated numerous reforms to promote enterprise in the public sector, including: £150 million for clinical research infrastructure, a further £18 million fund for medical innovations and £16 million fund for new technologies, and challenging the NHS to innovate.

Links to coverage of my work in this space:

The House 09.05.18 “George Freeman: We urgently need to turn the NHS from being a barrier to technology to being a champion.”

The Times 06.07.18 “Enterprise in the public sector is the way to end austerity.”

Politico 01.11.18 “Brexit is an electrifying moment for renewing the NHS.”