Our Vision

Our Vision

The Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ) has been created to deliver the following agreed vision:

“To be the best connected place of its type in the UK. A place of innovation and inclusion. A place where the benefits of digital investment are harnessed, maximised and shared across residents, commuters, businesses and borders.”

Partners are working together to answer a number of key questions:

  • What does our economy currently look like and how exposed might it be to a change and how might we future proof our economic prosperity?
  • Digital relies on infrastructure, so how are we currently placed on speed and connectivity and how might we better utilise our current assets to lever in the additional investment required from the private sector and / or government to go ‘further, faster’?
  • Can we work better together to use digital to deliver more public services in a joined up way that costs less and provides more, or should we carry on as we are commissioning individual approaches?

The initial strategic aims and objectives are shown below. These are now being developed further and in detail through the DIZ Digital Innovation Strategy.

  • Building a more productive and effective relationship with international infrastructure organisations
  • Developing a strategic long-term plan for the enhancement of digital investment and applications across all partners organisations
  • Establishing effective governance arrangements across all relevant partner organisations
  • Identifying and delivering short-term practical digital investment and enhancement projects
  • Developing effective communication and branding to maintain an understanding of and support for the digital programme among key stakeholders and external partners
  • Identifying and targeting key sources of external investment and support for coordinating local partner programmes

The DIZ is a highly innovative and inclusive digital partnership jointly owned and created by large and small organisations together investing many hundreds of millions of pounds per year in serving local residents and businesses. The DIZ is not a legal entity in its own right but is comprised of many statutory bodies. The means that while the DIZ applies for funding collectively, the delivery of its work and these programmes is via one of the partners acting as an accountable body.

The partnership is led by the DIZ Steering Group comprised of Cllr Alan Lion (Chairman), Cllr Linda Haysey (Vice-chair, Herts), Cllr Gagan Mohindra (Vice-chair, Essex) and Clare Morris (Vice-chair, Community)

The Steering Group meets monthly.

The main DIZ Board is comprised of partners from across the geography committed to the aims and objectives of the partnership and looking to work collaboratively to meet the digital challenge.

The Board identifies and pursues external funding opportunities, organises events eg. Smart Place Seminars and conferences, produces DIZ Matters, and evaluates the application locally of different digital approaches and technologies.

The Board meets monthly and looks at progress both strategically and on individual projects or workstreams that are being developed. (see Projects page)

The membership of the Board is continually evolving with new partners joining and is adopting a collegiate and open-door approach to organisations that are interested in becoming involved to support and shape the work of the DIZ.

Partners have asked that working digitally is not just about technology but also about adopting an agile approach to working.

The Board is often joined by organisations from across the region / outside the DIZ e.g. Cambridge Wireless, DCMS, Southend BC, NHS Digital to explore opportunities for collaborative working.