First Public Sector Innovation Garage in Canada to Open in Halifax

A new place for the public sector to test ideas and develop solutions opened March 26, in Halifax. The Public Sector Innovation Garage, a government and IBM collaborative initiative, is the first of its kind in Canada.

The province has extended an existing agreement with IBM that will see $5 million worth of projects flow through the garage over the next three years. It will be a dedicated, creative space that will enable a new approach to delivering public sector programs and services.

“We are committed to developing new and better ways to meet the diverse, changing needs of the public sector and Nova Scotians,” said Patricia Arab, Minister of Internal Services. “This is not a traditional approach to innovation. The garage is a place where we can safely generate and test ideas, and explore and experiment with possible solutions.”

The garage is a workspace where IBM will offer its expertise, methodologies, tools, software and processes. Technology business partners SAP, Microsoft and Apple will also participate.

“Our goal is to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to build innovative solutions that will deliver improved services to the people of this province,” said Claude Guay, general manager, Global Business Services, IBM Canada. “With the innovation garage, we can quickly prove new solutions leveraging artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain, internet of things, and IBM Cloud.”

Other public sector partners can also use the garage. Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is already discussing how it can participate and benefit from its world class advisors and graduates.

“To have another outlet for our students to not only share their knowledge and skills, but to also gain vital practical experience doing so, is a tremendous opportunity for the college,” said Anna Burke, vice president, Academic, NSCC. “At the same time, the students will be contributing to NSCC’s mission by supporting our communities and local businesses through innovation and problem-solving.”