Here are some of the ways we could work together:
Most of our work together will begin with informal conversations where we start to clarify your problem statement, explore an idea, question, or hunch that points to a need for innovation expertise/assistance. With the information we discuss, we’ll determine if we need to explore further, route your need through one of our programs, engage in a longer term project, or refer you to other experts. Schedule a consultation.
We have several standing programs that focus on data science and analysis, research partnerships, accelerators/incubators, and others. You can learn more about our programs here, and get in touch with us to find out if one of them is right for you.
The Innovation Office also takes on projects, which can range from relatively small to very complex. If we mutually agree that a project approach is best, the Innovation Office will prepare a proposal with one or multiple innovation offerings to meet your civic challenge. The project proposal will identify timelines, projected deliverables, necessary resources, and a shared definition of success as well as a plan for handoff at the end of the project. Propose a collaboration.
The Innovation Office offers several different workshops and consulting engagements focused on building a foundation for project success, and then facilitating teams through a process to solve a problem. Learn more about consulting and workshops.
The City of Austin is a member of the international Open Government Partnership’s inaugural class of “Pioneer” participants – 15 local-level governments committed to innovate for transparency, accountability, and civic participation. The Innovation Office serves as the city's Open Government Partnership (OGP) liaison. Visit our Bloomfire community.
The Design, Technology & Innovation Fellows program brought Austin's passionate and civic-minded designers and developers from Austin's cutting edge technology sector into government. The program successfully evolved into the Design & Delivery group within the City's Communications and Technology Management department.
In 2017, the Innovation Office secured a three-year $1.25m grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to focus on the City's goal of ending homelessness. The grant funded an iTeam to help the City identify the best ways for City Council, departments, and the community to collaborate towards a shared understanding of homelessness in Austin.
The LifeFiles project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, researched and prototyped a blockchain-enabled platform that could store, secure, validate, and share personal documents. Over the grant period, the Innovation Office researched and developed the prototype for the platform, tested with residents and service providers, outlined next steps for developing and launching the platform, and compiled products and learnings.
From 2020 to 2021, the City of Austin and community organizations sponsored listening sessions around Reimagining Public Safety. The Innovation Office helped to design dashboards to present patterns of thought that emerged from the listening sessions.