The Catalyst Project is a local partnership between University of Essex, Suffolk County Council and Essex County Council working to improve community services for vulnerable people.
"We are very pleased to be working with the University of Essex as part of the Catalyst Project. Our priorities are growing Suffolk’s economy in a way that everyone can benefit, improving health and wellbeing and delivering efficient and effective public services to our residents. The detailed work on data we’ve been able to do for the first time with support from the Catalyst Project has huge potential and will help us to deliver our aims in the coming years."
Using the University’s wealth of expertise in data analytics, big data and evaluation, we are developing new technology to assess and predict risk, and to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of public service initiatives dedicated to community members needing support.
The work carried out by the project's teams at the University will enable Suffolk County Council and Essex County Council, which serve a combined population of 2.5 million people, to target public service initiatives where they are most needed, improve outcomes through earlier intervention, and introduce new evidence based evaluation techniques to determine their full impact.
The project further strengthens the University’s relationship with the local community through its work to increase volunteering opportunities for students providing benefits for both community and students alike.
In 2015, the project was awarded £2.2 million from the Catalyst 'universities as anchors' funding initiative by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a non-departmental public body that funds innovative and strategic projects. The Project runs for 4 years and is now monitored by the Office for Students.
"The collaborative partnership between Essex County Council, the University of Essex and Essex Police has put us at the forefront of local authorities using the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle public policy challenges. We are investing in shared resources across our organisations to make Essex a place that is exemplar for integration of data across public bodies and to create the best data science and analytical capabilities in the UK to benefit our people and communities."
The Catalyst Project is a collaboration across University academic disciplines working with a number of local organisations to deliver initiatives under the following key areas:
Work carried out by the Catalyst Project benefits: