Innovative ideas invited for £25,000 Whitehall prize

Written by Beckie Smith on 11 January 2021 in News
News

Foundation set up in memory of late Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood seeks ideas for how to solve challenges created by coronavirus

Credit: Adobe Stock

The foundation set up in memory of the late cabinet secretary Jeremy Heywood is offering £25,000 for the best idea to tackle challenges posed by coronavirus.

The inaugural Heywood Foundation Public Policy Prize, launched this week, is inviting people to identify the greatest challenges and opportunities posed by coronavirus, and put forward their ideas to tackle them.

The prize is in the spirit of the UK’s former top civil servant, who after stepping down was named Lord Heywood of Whitehall, and was “extremely open to new ideas, and actively sought out alternative perspectives”, the foundation said. The charity was set up in November 2018 to promote diversity and innovation in the civil service and the wider public sector in Lord Heywood’s memory.

“He was much more interested in the quality of the idea than the rank or seniority of the person who proposed it,” the foundation said in its announcement of the prize.

Prizes will be awarded for responses to two questions. The first – “What is a key challenge or opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences?” – comes with a top prize of £5,000.


Related content


Entrants are invited to submit answers of up to 300 words, with the £5,000 sum going to the “most innovative, surprising, or incisive identification of a challenge or opportunity created by the current crisis”.

“Your answer might capture a seemingly simple detail of public or private sector practice that you think doesn’t make sense or could be made much better. Or it could describe a big change in how we could live – or are living – our lives, or how our economy or society works,” according to the foundation. 

Ten runners up will receive £500 apiece for their entries.

The second prize question calls for applicants to delve deeper, asking: “In the case of a problem, how might we fix it? In the case of an opportunity, how do we capitalise on it?”

The most impressive answer will win £25,000, with a second prize of £10,000. The third prizewinner will get £5,000 and 15 runners-up will receive £1,000 apiece.

“Credit will be given for the originality, practicality, and impact of ideas. Perhaps even more importantly, the winning submissions will put on the desks of leading policymakers, will attract wider debate, and perhaps will be enacted to make the world a better place,” the Heywood Foundation said.

A judging panel of senior politicians, policy experts and ex-senior civil servants will weigh up the answers.

It includes Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who promised entries would be judged "with a completely open mind with the intention of turning the best ideas into reality".

The closing date for the competition has yet to be announced, but is likely to be in March, the foundation said. The foundation said it may later use and publish some of the answers anonymously “for the purpose of stimulating further thought and discussion about challenges or opportunities that the current situation may present”.

For more details and to enter, click here.

 

About the author

Beckie Smith is acting deputy editor for PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where this story first appeared. She tweets as @beckie__smith.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

The pandemic has exposed the government’s broken digital promises
9 February 2021

While other countries adapted seamlessly to digital doctors' consultations and online teaching, coronavirus showed how little progress the UK has really made, believes Jack Perschke of netcompany...

Government can no longer afford to shy away from tackling legacy IT
29 January 2021

Now is the time for government to confront a tricky and long-standing issue, according to Eleonora Harwich of Reform

Report calls for ‘more power’ in Whitehall to be centralised
26 January 2021

UK’s top two civil servants should be handed more responsibility as part of drive to make Cabinet Office more effective, says IfG

‘Next year shouldn’t be back to normal’
5 January 2021

BEIS perm sec Sarah Munby discusses a year of securing millions of vaccines, delivering business loans, and providing guides to safer working

Related Sponsored Articles

How digital is helping Defence Medical Services re-imagine HM Armed Forces healthcare
3 February 2021

Defence Medical Services (DMS) is pursuing ground-breaking digital, data and technology transformation which will revolutionise Tri-Service healthcare provision to over 135,000 Armed...

The rapid, low-risk cloud transition solution for Oracle customers
1 March 2021

Jointly, Equinix and Cintra enable organisations with mission-critical Oracle workloads to accelerate their journey to cloud, while minimising transition risks - here's how

How Your Privacy Program is a Competitive Differentiator
29 January 2021

OneTrust presents the reasons why your organisation should invest in privacy management - and offers three easy tips for getting started 

Email security incidents happen every 12 hours – it’s time to close the gap in Microsoft 365
21 January 2021

The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...