The Plantech Challenge

Connected Places Catapult is bringing together local planning authorities to partner and co-invest in the digital transformation of planning and build a digital planning system – so that local government can fix things together, faster, cheaper and more effectively than alone.

PlanTech; Net Zero; Green Technology
What is it?

Through our work on innovation projects over the past four years, the Connected Places Catapult’s Plantech team have demonstrated the need and value of a more digital planning system. Yet the pace, quality and scale of digital transformation of the planning system is often constrained by:

  • Cuts in local authority budgets
  • Lack of digital skills and capacity
  • Resources to invest in innovation particularly discovery projects to help truly understand users and explore pain points, and ensure the real problem is being solved
  • Difficulty in scouting and engaging suitable suppliers
  • Complexities in procurement.
How it works
  • Connected Places Catapult selects a challenge based on regular feedback from local authorities.
  • We promote the challenge, identifying and engaging local authority partners to co-invest. Participants contribute £25k to the collective budget for one challenge.
  • Partners enter into the Catapult’s Plantech Collaboration Agreement, setting out ways of working for the challenge.
  • The Catapult engages and procures a supplier to deliver the discovery project. Partners can participate in supplier assessment.
  • The Catapult manages the full discovery project on behalf of partners.
  • A detailed discovery report is delivered to partners, covering aspects such as user needs, pain points, challenges, user experience wireframes, and a roadmap for onward development and prototyping
  • The Catapult helps to engage partners for onward development.

The Catapult’s Plantech Challenge programme is a platform for public sector planning services to pool resources to explore, develop and adopt new planning innovations that suit their needs – delivered via the Catapult’s proven model.

PlanTech; Net Zero; Green Technology
Why sign up?
  • One-to-many approach: the pooled resource means a smaller and lower risk investment to achieve the same objective.
  • Domain expertise: we bring wide-ranging experience of delivering digital planning projects to your challenge.
  • Human-centred approach: the Catapult’s experience in Insight & Service Design means we can ensure that any supplier takes a user-led approach to each challenge, so that any solutions truly meet your user and stakeholder’s needs.
  • Neutrality: our neutral position means we will ensure the shared challenge meets the specific requirements of all local authorities.
  • Project management: we will effectively manage the process from discovery to delivery – ensuring the project delivers to the brief, handling payments, and keeping the process simple for all participants.
  • Proven collaboration agreement: the Plantech Challenge contract mechanism clearly sets out the roles of different partners in a challenge. Collective funds are can be applied to a shared challenge without complex contractual arrangements.
Get Involved

Connected Places Catapult is currently running two live challenges:

• Local Plans Challenge – Apply Online Here
• Viability Challenge

If you’d like to participate, or to propose a challenge of your own, get in touch:

Nissa Shahid, Built Environment Directorate
E: plantech@cp.catapult.org.uk
T: +44 (0)7917 977431

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