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Serco re-launches Serco Institute to undertake research and innovation within public services internationally

Published: 10 Dec 2018

Serco Group plc, the international service company, is launching its newly re-established think-tank, the Serco Institute, to develop research, insight, and innovation in the UK and internationally to create the next generation of solutions for public services.

The Institute, which was first founded in 2002 but has been dormant in recent years, was re-launched today at a conference in London hosted jointly with the think-tank Reform. The conference, entitled ‘Reimagining public services for citizens’, included debates on the future use of data, digital and new models in public services, and was attended by a range of informed and influential policymakers, parliamentarians, business leaders, technologists, start-ups, charities, academics and media.

Governments worldwide are facing increasing costs, demand and deficits, coupled with populations who are resistant to higher taxation and demanding enhanced experience and public service outcomes. The Serco Institute will engage experts from across the public, private and charitable sectors to develop research that will help further understanding of the best public services internationally, as well as develop innovations in the design of public services and entirely new approached to service delivery.

Rupert Soames, Group Chief Executive of Serco Group, speaking at the re-launch of the Serco Institute, said:

“The purpose of the Institute is to be a forum where academics, civil servants, practitioners, companies small, medium and large, including our competitors, both in this country and abroad, can contribute their ideas.  It recognises that developing improved ways of delivering public services is not simply a matter of process design, it requires BOTH an intellectual underpinning and also a base of facts and experience.  One of the great failures of my industry has been to forget that on the tin marked ‘Public Services’, it does not say ‘made by the private sector’; we have forgotten that the private sector needs political permission to operate in this space.  We have forgotten that the reason why private companies came to deliver public services in the 1980’s was because serious people thought it would improve the delivery of public services, and they believed this because serious academics and economists and industrialists persuaded them that it was so.”

And continued,

“The provision of public services by private companies faces question and challenge from people who are neither ill-intentioned nor stupid, and we as an industry will be fools if we do not respond constructively to our critics.  And that means with thought, and fact and deed, and with energy, clarity of thought, and respect.”

More information and previous Serco Institute research can be found at www.sercoinstitute.com