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Innovation Fund

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when the review of the Innovation Fund is expected to be completed and published; [98018](2) what organisations have received monies from the Innovation Fund; for what purposes they have received funding; and how much funding they have received. [98019]

The New Deal Innovation Fund was launched in 1999 to test innovative ideas for enhancing the New Deals and the way we help people move from benefit into sustained jobs. In 2001 we introduced the Lone Parent Innovation Fund to test new ways of helping people on the New Deal for Lone Parents find and remain in work. These two funds were merged last year.The Innovation Funds have supported 92 projects so far and a further 16 are in development. Information on the funding received by individual organisations is commercial in confidence and cannot be published. There have been four rounds of projects under the New Deal Innovation Fund, and two under the Lone Parents Fund. Total expenditure on the first two rounds of the New Deal Innovation Fund and round one of the Lone Parent Fund was £1.78 million. Expenditure figures for rounds three and four of the New Deal Fund and round two of the Loan Parent Fund are not available as the projects are ongoing or in their development phase.We have also allocated £1.4 million (for 2002–03) from the Innovation Fund to support the Ambition initiative which aims to help unemployed and disadvantaged people gain the right skills to meet the needs of employers in key sectors. Funds are also being used to co-sponsor the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion's (CESI) website, to facilitate the spread of innovation and good practice. Information on the funding received by CESI is commercial in confidence. In addition, innovation funding has been made available to Jobcentre Plus Districts to deliver a series of Innovation Laboratories' to stimulate innovation and creativity at a local level. One event has already been delivered at a cost of £45,000 and two more are planned for late March.Information on the organisations receiving support under each round of the Funds, the focus of each round and expenditure on each round, has been placed in the Library.The review of the Innovation Fund is scheduled for completion in May 2003. The results will then be published on the CESI website.