We’ve been thinking about the idea of a 0.01% Innovation Fund for Dublin, and we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions.
(Pictured here is the Street Feast we went to, and munched at, at Dublin’s Urban Farm.)
Dublin City Beta Projects to date functions under two ‘freedoms’ –
- Freedom to exist (acting under “10% Innovation Time” from City Architects Division of Dublin City Council – itself an ongoing trial, within which Beta is also a trial).
- Some finances to allow that experimentation (a 1% Innovation Fund).
Those ‘freedoms’ have allowed us to experiment.
(Without getting into too much detail, the first one has allowed an idea to begin in one DCC ‘silo’ – City Architects – and begin to work ‘cross-silo’, across the various ‘silos’ of the Council. The second one, allows for the carrying out of that independence.)
Those ‘freedoms’ have allowed Dublin City Beta Projects to begin to explore ‘new thinking’ in the city…have allowed it to act as the “pointy end of the wedge” to use Ré Dubhthaigh’s (of The Civic Works) phrase.
There are others in the city also exploring the ‘pointy end of the wedge’. To give a few examples…
- City Opinions
- City Discussion
- City Ideas
- City Platforms for City Tools
- City Localism
This is certainly a non-exhaustive list – for a start it’s all Dublin-based and presumably there’s tons that we’re not even aware of. (If you think you know of a ‘pointy end of wedge’ idea out there that we should know about, please let us know!)
Returning to the subject of ‘freedoms’, we’re not going to discuss the first item in this blog post, but will now discuss the second item…
0.01% Innovation Fund
Dublin City Beta Projects is receiving a trial of a 1% Innovation Fund, and we’re going to propose that Beta in turn also trials its own 1% Innovation Fund – for ‘pointy wedge ideas’ – out of that fund…so 1% of 1% = 0.01% Innovation Fund.
What conditions might be placed on it? How, and who, should decide upon ratings? We’d expect these might be some of the aspects.
- Pointy end of wedge
- Dark Matter
- Scalable Idea
- People Doing
- Should it only be for Startups, or also for established groups? For eg, you’re now going perhaps a year. Rabble also a year. If Rothar wanted to trial something would that be eligible? If the company wanted to experiment with something (say a local brewing idea), would they be eligible…why/why not?
- Educating DCC
- Educating Dublin
How might it work? We’re going to suggest…
- It needs to be simple to use.
- It needs to be clearly defined and transparent (to DCC, Dublin, and also within the various ‘rules’ that DCC needs to follow around payments and so on).
- This is a trial, like all Beta Projects. As Beta’s own 1% Innovation Fund has only currently been agreed up to the end of 2013, the same will apply to this 0.01% Innovation Fund.
- We’ve other ideas for how it might work for when it gets bigger. But for such a small sum, that’s plenty of ‘rules’ for now.
Figures for the ‘0.01% Innovation Fund’ Beta Project…
- Dublin City Beta Projects’ 1% Innovation Fund ‘pot’ is currently at €2500 per month (as of September 2013). It has now been agreed to trial it for an extended period of 8 months.
- 1% of that (ie the 0.01% Innovation Fund ‘pot’ currently available) is the grand sum of €200 in total.
- We’re well aware that that’s a tiny amount, but we’re simply suggesting this as a starting point for the concept. Establishing the concept of a fixed percentage budget is more powerful than a changeable agree-a-figure-every-year budget, as if the trial of a 1% Innovation Fund works, and the idea grows, than the 0.01% Innovation Fund will also automatically grow. It also makes this very easy for Dublin City Beta Projects to do at this point…it’s extremely low-risk. Equally perhaps it’s far too much and should be 0.001%, or perhaps it’s too low and should be 1% or 10%. Let’s just see how it develops.
What about ideas that need lots of funding?
The aim of the 0.01% Innovation Fund ISN’T likely expected to fund entire ideas. That’s the role of the various already-existing funding sources out there which are properly set up to do that, and administer that.
The aim of this, could perhaps be defined as ‘acknowledgement’. An acknowledgement by the City that someone is doing something that is (in some way) good for Dublin…and doing it on their own time, sometimes out of their own pocket, often with personal hassles…and to begin a debate about how that might be better supported (and precisely what those activities/things are, that should be supported).
Applying to the 0.01% Innovation Fund…
Simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A name for a 0.01% Innovation Fund…
Whilst it’s useful as it’s ‘exactly what it says on the tin’, it’s also not so easy to say. If you’ve any ideas for what it could be called, send them this way! 🙂
We hope to add a ‘finances’ section to this blog…ie how much Beta is spending, how much is in the 1% Innovation Fund, how much is in the 0.01% Innovation Fund (and where it went). We’re going to try to be as ‘open government’ as possible…use Dublin City Beta Projects itself as a way to help explore such ideas.
We’ve many more ideas to add to this (crowd-funding, match-funding, how to manage it when it gets larger, etc), but for now we’re going to keep it to the above.
As always, your thoughts and suggestions would be fantastic.