June 14, 2016

Public Service Innovation Award Recognizes Growing Role of Digital Solutions for Governments

European Centre for Government Transformation celebrates milestone graduation of 100th student

BRUSSELS; 14 June 2016 – At the Innovation Imperative Summit today, a student team won the 2016 Public Service Innovation Award for their creative and concrete recommendations aimed at enabling Northern Netherland Provinces Alliance to promote economic growth and small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME).

The award is sponsored by the European Centre for Government Transformation (ECGT), an initiative in public sector reform established in 2009 by Accenture (NYSE:ACN), the Lisbon Council and the College of Europe. The ECGT is dedicated to providing pragmatic and actionable public service solutions to help government agencies and other public service organizations improve the social, economic and health outcomes of the people they serve.

The award-winning student group, teamed with the Northern Netherlands Provinces Alliance/ Samenwerskingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN) and focused on addressing three main issues: promoting the evolution as grant management authority to cover new financial possibilities, enhancing information exchange and communication tools and leveraging the Brussels office to develop more efficient services for SMEs. The award was presented by Maarten Camps, Secretary-General of the Netherlands Ministry of Economy and chair of the High-Level Group on Competiveness and Growth of the Competitiveness Council.

Three teams, each with four College of Europe students, prepared case studies with concrete recommendations for innovative ideas to address pressing challenges of public administration. The teams were matched with state agencies that had previously received the Prize for Innovation in Public Administration from the European Commission. The students were coached by transformation managers at Accenture, faculty and staff of the College of Europe, the Lisbon Council and the Government Executive Innovation Circle – chaired by Robert Madelin, senior adviser for innovation at the European Commission’s European Political Strategy Centre.

The participating agencies and activities in the 2016 program are:

“These innovative public service practices, powered by digital technologies, highlight the crucial role of government as a platform, bringing together citizens, businesses, public administrations and civil society to co-create public services. Providing students with this exceptional experience means they gain a distinctive and competitive advantage in the labor market by developing the necessary skills to drive next-generation public services,” said Bernard Le Masson, global managing director for Accenture’s Health & Public Service business. “Government as a platform is the path towards a successful transformation to respond to new constituencies’ demands and stimulate economic growth in Europe,”

“The College of Europe has been preparing young Europeans for leadership roles since 1949, in both the private and public sectors,” said Dr. Olivier Costa, director of European Political and Administrative Studies. “This year we have the honor of our 100th program participant represented in this 2016 class.”

“In concert with academic teaching, students need to acquire professional experience and work on concrete matters. This project gives students the privilege of working on real life public service reform projects and to prove their capacity of creative thinking. To keep up with the demands of today’s job market, it is imperative that our students have the capacity to be flexible and think out the box. This projects offers them the opportunity to do just that,” Dr. Costa said.

“The work with European political and administrative students of the college is essential to promoting a modernization agenda for governments today because it involves the next generation of leaders who will build the public sector to meet the needs of the 20th century,” said Paul Hofheinz, president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council.

“At a time when young people have been severely hit by the economic crisis, it’s particularly important to keep them on the policymakers’ radar screen and to make sure that we put in place the right conditions for them to overcome the difficulties and thrive. The state transformation case studies performed by the College of Europe students provides real, hands-on experience about the challenges the public sector is faced with and gives them the opportunity to propose their own, fresh, Millennial-type solutions. It’s a privilege to work with some of the brightest and most astute minds of this generation,” he said.

Additional information about the case studies can be found in Reinventing Public Service Delivery: A Vision from Tomorrow’s Leaders.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About the College of Europe
The College of Europe, founded in 1949 and based in Bruges (Belgium) and Natolin (Warsaw, Poland) was the first and is one of the most reputed institutes of European postgraduate studies, which prepares annually up to 400 students from over 55 countries to work and alive in an international environment. The European Political and Administrative Studies programme offers a wide range of courses on the functioning and policies of the European Union. In 2015 it launched a new option devoted to “European Public Policy Analysis.” Its home page is www.coleurope.eu.

About the Lisbon Council
The Lisbon Council is a Brussels-based think tank and policy network committed to making a positive contribution by engaging political leaders and the public-at-large in a constructive exchange about the economic and social challenges of the 21st century. Incorporated in Belgium as an independent, non-profit and non-partisan association, the Lisbon Council is among Eu4ope’s most authoritative and thoughtful voices on economic modernization and social renewal. Its home page is www.lisboncouncil.net

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Joanne Veto
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Philippe Ruttens
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