The Innovation Fund is managed jointly by the Innovation Management group and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia.
To manage the Fund, the City has created a process for collectively generating, assessing and prioritizing ideas before subsequently matching them with appropriate resources and partners for implementation. Through the fund, we gain the ability to provide seed funding for interesting new ideas with the potential to improve the services and functions of municipal government.
The Fund is managed by a Working Group comprised of City employees from a myriad of different departments who are committed to institutionalizing a culture of innovation within government. They:
- Act as solution consultants during the problem definition phase of idea solicitation
- Develop, codify, and manage the process where ideas are solicited, selected, and refined in preparation for application to the Innovation Fund
- Provide consulting assistance to project sponsors as they prepare project applications for Board consideration
- Act in an advisory capacity to project sponsors for funded ideas being implemented through the Innovation Fund
- Evaluate projects after completion to gauge future viability and scaling potential
Five projects received full or partial funding from the Innovation Fund in 2015. In summary, they are:
- Better Bail – Implementing an electronic bail pay system in Philadelphia
- A Vital Ingredient – Developing a program and curriculum for youth connecting digital literacy/technology skill building, healthy cooking and recipe sharing and intergenerational storytelling.
- Plants Make Positive Places – Recycling plants from City gardens to community organizations
- City Craigslist – Formalizing a process for sharing available resources across City departments
- Clean Commute – Conducting a feasibility study about exploring ways to provide access to showers to City employees who want to bike to work or workout on their lunch hour, etc.