Bloomberg Announces $45M to Help Cities Innovate

Bloomberg Philanthropies this week announced that it will award $45 million in Innovation Delivery grants. Funding will help cities create teams that use data and other tools to to tackle major challenges and improve urban life

What Happened?

Bloomberg Philanthropies this week announced a new $45 million investment to boost the capacity of city halls to innovate. The foundation will direct significant funding and other assistance to help dozens of cities adopt the Innovation Delivery model, an approach to generating and implementing new ideas that has been tested and refined over the past three years in partnership with city leaders in Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans.

What is the Innovation Delivery model?

The foundation initially rolled out the Innovation Delivery model in five cities — Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; and New Orleans — which used the process to come up with ideas on a range of issues, from economic redevelopment to reducing violent deaths.

Innovation Delivery Teams use best-in-class idea generation techniques with a structured, data-driven approach to delivering results. Operating as an in-house innovation consultancy, they have enabled mayors in the original five cities to produce clear results, such as: New Orleans reduced murder in 2013 by 19% compared to the previous year, resulting in the lowest number of murders in New Orleans since 1985.

The Details.

In this latest funding round, the foundation has invited over 80 American cities to apply for Innovation Delivery grants.

  • Eligible cities must have at least 100,000 residents and mayors with at least two years left in office.
  • The foundation expects to select 10 to 15 cities.
  • Grantees will be selected in the fall and will receive from $250,000 to $1,000,000 annually over three years.
  • Newly formed Innovation Delivery Teams will begin work in each city no later than spring 2015.
  • The deadline for applications is October 6, 2014.

In addition to direct investments in cities, Bloomberg Philanthropies will fund technical assistance, research and evaluation, and partnerships with organizations to further spread the Innovation Delivery approach.

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