ACT-IAC INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION LAUNCHES GOVERNMENT INNOVATION INVENTORY
In an effort to improve government innovation awareness, education, collaboration, and public value; the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation compiled an inventory of “innovation pockets” within the U.S. federal government. The purpose of the inventory is to highlight the great, innovative work that today’s public servants are doing for our country.
Public sector innovation is and has been happening for years however it is not all that well known or publicized. The US Federal Government has been a part of some of the most significant innovations throughout our nation’s history. Probably the most obvious example of this is the creation and development of the Internet. The internet is comprised of interconnected worldwide computer networks. The first network was called the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) which originated in the US military in the 1960s. Did you also know that Global Positioning Systems (GPS navigation systems) were developed by the Department of Defense (DOD) in the late 1970s to follow the exact locations of nuclear missiles to track calculate their proper trajectories?
In the world of mathematics, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded mathematical research that resulted in an algorithm that helps reduce costs and improve efficiencies in distributing assets. This research resulted in the concept of a “reverse auction” when sellers compete to get business from buyers by accepting lower bids. And NASA originally created infant formula for newborns to 12 months of age as a nutritional supplement. These are just a few of countless examples of how the government is and has been innovating for years.
In an effort to improve government innovation awareness, education, collaboration, and public value, the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation compiled an inventory of “innovation pockets” within the US federal government. The purpose of the inventory is to highlight all of the great, innovative work that today’s public servants are working on for the betterment of society. We’ve identified federal agency innovation labs, innovative agency departments, and government programs and projects that have resulted in an innovation contribution to our government or society at large. All in all, we’ve identified over 300 “innovation pockets” within government and we are sure that this list only scratches the surface.
While innovation is and has been happening within government, a culture of innovation within must be expanded across all of government to unleash the full potential of the entire federal workforce. Now is the right time to aggressively accelerate government innovation – the Presidential Executive Order entitled “A Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch” charges every agency “…to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch” by identifying new and better ways of operating and managing their programs. Making innovation a persistent capability and part of every agency’s culture could directly support achieving those goals. Our hope is that this innovation inventory will help these efforts along by creating greater awareness and visibility around government innovation. We encourage you to review it, use it, and contribute to it through the web form on the site. The more we use it, the better it will get. Check out the inventory here. Return to the Newsletter.