The Ministry of Justice* Innovations Fund (that brought you CivicSurf or Cllr 2.0 as it was) is back. It’s bigger than ever with £150,000 to be spent developing new ideas. Go to www.buidlingdemocracy.co.uk for the details.
There is a difference this year. Instead of only being able to submit applications directly to the selection panel you can "Float your Idea" first on the website and get advice and improvements from other visitors to the site. It works in the same way as the Power of Information taskforce’s ShowUsABetterWay project.
Although the site does "strongly recommend" floating ideas rather than submitting them straightaway, Jessica Ellis who is managing the project was clear that the selection process would not discriminate against those who go straight to the less public application submitting stage. So if you want to submit an idea without telling the world and your competitors about it, you can.
Without wanting to be down on the project I would like to point out that Tom Watson’s tweet is slightly inaccurate. You don’t win £15k. Quite the opposite. We received £15k. last year from the fund but with Norfolk County Council have invested at least half that again as our contributions to the CivicSurf project.
*The eagle-eyed reader will also notice that DIUS (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) are involved.