Mayors Lead in Driving Innovation

United-States-Map-2Calling out a few of over 35 cities that have advanced in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition to create innovative solutions for shared problems faced by municipal governments.  With the struggle of the national administration to drive innovation state governors and city mayors are leading the way.

Austin Texas

In attempting to help the local homeless population, outreach workers in Austin, Texas, often struggle to catalogue, access and share information about individuals they interact with.  Forty-plus nonprofits and 20-some government agencies in Austin lack a central mechanism for accurate data sharing about the homeless individuals they serve.  In addition, to personal documentation such as medical records or even social security cards.  Technology has previously reported. Austin, however, is working on a pilot program that uses blockchain to make it easier for homeless individuals to provide information about themselves. City officials say this is likely a first-of-its-kind use case for blockchain, one with the potential to be scaled to other cities throughout the nation.

Cheyenne, Wyo.

The program that Cheyenne will soon pilot with support from Bloomberg seeks to speed up revitalization of these empty properties by matching their owners with local entrepreneurs in need of work space. City officials in Cheyenne have so far identified 17 vacant commercial buildings and 10 partially full buildings as candidates for the work, which involves creating a new website that would connect the owners and entrepreneurs and also potentially facilitate crowdfunding for their projects. The goal for Cheyenne is to have a pilot version of the site up by July, with a full-version to follow by early 2019.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Is looking at existing city data to identify gaps in equality in the community, with an ultimate goal of working to facilitate change.  Their project is, in part, a citywide census of community data that has an ultimate goal of creating a mechanism for stakeholders in the city to apply for more grant moneys.   The goal to really work with the different segments of our community that are affected by poverty. We believe that out of this will come some great applications for our businesses to fill out one type of application for all of the funds that are available from nonprofits.

Philadelphia

Is eeking to find child-centered solutions for youth offenders that focus more on service-oriented solutions than on sending them to regular police precincts for booking.
To do this, Philadelphia wants to create a Hub for Juvenile Justice Services, one that would serve as a national model for how children are treated within the criminal justice system. The goal of the hub would be a “24/7 integrated service center that is trauma-informed and technology driven.  Staff at the hub would be trained in how to respond to youth and families, as well as on how to make referrals to prevention or other social service programs when appropriate. It would be a preventative, non-police facility to provide juveniles with both immediate and long-term access to social services and diversion programs.

Louisville, Ky.

Is launching a pilot program that would build on a recently installed gunshot detection system to quickly dispatch aerial drones to potential shootings.  This program, which has already made headlines, would likely be the first of its kind in the country, and it was developed as a collaboration between the city’s Office for Civic Innovation, its police department, and several community partners.  City officials said that through this program aerial drones could help officers investigate incidents by capturing critical evidence at crime scenes before investigators arrive. The mobile nature of the drones would also allay privacy concerns that arise from static cameras.
Source: govtech
Advertisements

2018 AK, CO, FL, MS, WY State Budgets Updates

United-States-Map-2First of the year updates on the development of 2018 state budgets.     Alaska and Wyoming are interesting to note as they respond to pressure in the energy industry.

Alaska, Governor Walker
  • Decrease in state dividend payments from the state energy industry to address the $2.5B budget gap.
Wyoming, Governor Mead
  • Reduces funding to a number of agencies.
  • $40M requested in new funding for projects around technology-based economic development and industry diversification.
Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper
  • Goal to increase general fund by 2.6% ( coming back from $500M gap)
  • $86.9M higher education spending, of which, $33.2M focused on offsetting tuition costs.
  • $3.1M for restoring the Energy Office, which ended last year.   This would extend the state’s export incentive for another five years at $175K.
  • $225K  for two broadband staff
Florida, Governor Scott
  • $21.4B in K-12 public education.
  • $15M for computer programing from middle and high school levels.
  • $3.7B for Florida colleges and universities.
  • $1.75M for assistance to veterans looking for employment or entrepreneurship.
Mississippi, Governor Bryant
  • $7M program for community college assistance to approved applicants.
  • $400K for Innovate Mississippi, a private-public partnership technology focus economic development.

 

Source: SSTI

Wyoming is planning economic growth

United-States-Map-2Wyoming is out of the gate early in 2018 with economic growth planning.  This is one of the first stories of momentum in 2018.  Lead by states that have put several years into dedicated long-term planning and can effectively engage their legislatures for state-level funding.   The next race is for 2018 Federal dollars and that race has already begun several years ago with states getting repeated grants for the development of innovation ecosystems and cluster development.   Those states are also seeming to fair better in winning the development of federal research labs and the research grants that support them long term.

Wyoming: Governor Matt Mead
Has prioritized diversification strategies to grow the state’s economy by funding $1M to form ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) was created late in 2016, as a dedicated team that built plan and the request for $37M plan for 2018-2019 (receiving $36M)
  • $36M in statewide programs to support tech-based development, which includes:
    • $6M million for Research and Innovation Fund that provides matching funds as a way to leverage federal R&D opportunities
    • $15M to expand the commercial air service
    • $10M to improve the state’s access to broadband
    • $5M to develop a new organization called Startup:Wyoming, which would administer a Fund and provide support to entrepreneurs throughout the state.
  • Other areas of recommendations outside the funding above include:
    • $20M in seed money for the Startup:Wyoming Fund to invest in promising technology startups and to attract startups from other states.
    • STEM & Computer Science for higher education prep.
    • Research and development in high-growth, high-potential industries, such as block chain, vertical takeoff and landing technology, and wind energy.
    • Workforce Training in high-potential industries.

 

source: STTi