The Innovation Office supports several programs including the UT ILA, the Open Data Portal, and the Civic Research Agenda. We also offer a variety of services including consultations and project support. If you think that you may require research and are interested in pursuing it through the UT ILA or you think you may require other innovation offerings, fill out the below form to get in touch!

 

Propose a Collaboration
 

Our Programs

We may route you to the Open Data Portal if you need data transparency and a public data narrative, or to The University of Texas Interlocal Agreement (UT ILA) if you could benefit from university-led research. We may also integrate your challenge to the Civic Research Agenda, which strategically drives our work and collaborations.

UT ILA

Have a need or some ideas for a research project? Would you like to partner with a world-class research institution? It’s easier than you think! Did you know that the City of Austin and UT Austin have a City Council-approved interlocal agreement (ILA) in place for collaborative research? Explore our portfolio

If you are a City of Austin employee and would like to learn more or chat about your ideas, please connect with Charles Purma. If you already have something solid in mind, fill out our pre-proposal intake form (open to City of Austin employees and UT Austin researchers ONLY) and we’ll be in touch shortly! 


Our Services

Consultations

We begin with an informal chat where we start to clarify your problem statement, explore an idea, question, or hunch that points to a need for innovation expertise/assistance. We will provide the latter on the spot, or determine if we need to book more consultation time, route your need through our programs, engage in a longer term project, or refer you to other expertise holders. Schedule a consultation.

Projects

We will prepare a project proposal with you that may involve 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.


Our Work

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.