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Boston Receives $1.35 Million Innovation Team Grant

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that Boston is one of 12 U.S. cities selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The $1.35 million grant, to be awarded over three years, will initially be used to support the creation of Boston’s first Housing Innovation Lab.  The Lab will research and implement new ways for the city to partner with the innovation sector to help create the 53,000 units of housing called for in the Walsh administration's “Boston2030” housing plan.  

“We must do everything possible to ensure that everyone who wants to help make Boston a better place can afford to live here,” Mayor Walsh said.  “I want to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for this grant, which will help us pursue bold strategies to keep families and individuals here in our city.  Potential partners surround us, from local architects to world-leading colleges and universities.  The Housing Innovation Lab will help us strengthen these partnerships and create new ones to help us solve Boston’s housing challenges.”

Innovation teams (i-teams) function as in-house innovation consultants, helping agency leaders and staff through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.  Boston's i-team will operate out of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Department of Neighborhood Development, and will initially focus on establishing a consortium of government, academic, and private-sector partners with a mission of rapidly turning the region's best ideas into new homes for Bostonians.  

In keeping with the successful approach of past i-teams, the team will tackle at least one other mayoral priority during the course of the three year grant. 

Boston was one of 14 cities selected worldwide to receive this support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Innovation team grants will also go to the U.S. cities of: Albuquerque, NM; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that two non-U.S. cities will receive innovation team grants: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.  In addition to the grants, cities receive robust implementation support and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices with peers in other cities. Newly formed i-teams will be deployed in each city no later than spring 2015.

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