Award-winning Guelph Lab project hailed as example of government innovation
In 2015, the City of Guelph IT department asked the Guelph Lab to support the design of alternative procurement processes that can unlock innovative technology solutions for the City, and have the potential to create business development opportunities for compagnies working in "Civic Tech".
The outcome of this work - the Civic Accelerator - has just been hailed as an example of government innovation in a case study by the Brookfield Institute for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Civic Accelerator pairs City departments with potential vendors to co-develop solutions to problems the City is trying to address. In doing so, it moves away from the traditional government procurement practices to support early-stage compagnies through the co-development and procurement of goods and services that have a unique ability to solve challenging municipal issues. The first cohort of the program tackled challenges related to water conservation and civic engagement in urban planning decisions.
Working with the Centre for Business and Student Entreprise and other partners at the University of Guelph, the next iteration of the Civic Accelerator will attempt to link student- and faculty-led teams with opportunities to test their ideas, and potentially launch successful businesses.
The Accelerator was also the recipient of a Civic Innovation Award highlighting innovative partnerships between higher education institutions and municipalities.