Having previously been recognised through a public vote as a Top 3 finalist alongside the Geospatial Commission at the Cabinet Office and the PiGIS™ (Pig Grading Information System) from Northern Ireland, the DIZ emerged as the winner in the ‘Cross-Sector Digital Collaboration of the Year’ category after a final round of judging that examined its work and approach.
Presenting the award Neil McKeown from Neueda praised the DIZ for its “great breadth of engagement across both public and private sectors” and reflected that it had established an “exemplar for regional development and collaboration” that could be usefully replicated by local authority organisations across the UK.
The Digital Leaders #DL100 Awards celebrate the individuals and organisations from the public, private and non-profit sectors who are demonstrating a pioneering and sustainable approach to digital transformation in the UK. Digital Leaders is a global initiative that has created a shared professional space for senior leadership from different sectors promoting effective, long-term digital transformation. It includes a number of globally renowned technology, finance and academic digital leaders as well as several UK government departments amongst its partners.
The award follows closely on the news that the partnership has secured an additional £1.7m of government funding to link up to 80 GP surgeries across the DIZ area with gigabit capable, ultrafast, fibre broadband connectivity to support local delivery of digital health care.
The DIZ partnership is made up of local government, health, education, business and community and voluntary sector bodies across west Essex and east Hertfordshire and aims 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.
Cllr Alan Lion, Digital Lead Member for Digital at Epping Forest Council and Chair of the DIZ commented: “This award is a testament to both the approach and the hard work that has gone on by the widest range of partners across the five district council areas over recent years. Given the size of some of the organisations that were competing for this award, the fact that a small local partnership, that works on a very limited budget, could compete and win, shows we are doing something very right locally.”
Cllr Linda Haysey, Leader of East Herts Council and Vice Chair of the DIZ commented: “There are some great digital innovations going on across our area, not least of these has been the work of our local partnership. It has been bringing partners and investors together, identifying good practice, securing external investment in digital infrastructure and raising the profile of ‘our place’ to new businesses for several years now. We are obviously all very proud of this national recognition for our work and we will be building on our achievements to get the best infrastructure and services for our residents and businesses”