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Innovation Lab

Key Partners

The Managing Director’s Office and the Office of Innovation & Technology are building an infrastructure of innovation in municipal government.

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The Innovation Lab is a key piece of the City of Philadelphia’s overall plan to build an infrastructure of innovation within municipal government. Once two separate meeting rooms, the Lab is now a fresh, bright, technology-enabled space in the Municipal Services Building where City employees and external stakeholders can meet to think creatively and generate solutions to the City’s most pressing problems. The Innovation Lab provides a space conducive to cross-departmental collaboration where the City’s challenges can be studied and approached through new ways of thinking. The Lab’s mural design is intended to remind users of Philadelphia’s historical leadership in innovation and inspire further creativity.

Where is the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is located in the Municipal Services Building:
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
16th Floor
Rooms C & D.

How does the Innovation Lab contribute to Philadelphia’s overall innovation strategy?

The Lab is a physical space that facilitates collaboration between City employees from diverse departments and represents part of Philadelphia’s comprehensive innovation strategy; the Lab is complemented by an Innovation Academy and an Innovation Fund. The Academy for Municipal Innovation is a partnership with Philadelphia University in which City employees receive formal training in the principles of innovation and apply those principles to their day-to-day work. The Innovation Fund, a subset of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, formalizes a process to develop ideas and proposals for pilot initiatives designed to improve City processes, systems and outcomes. Together, these three initiatives represent people, place, and process and guide Philadelphia’s effort to develop a sustainable culture of innovation within municipal government.

Who can use the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is available to City employees looking for both formal and informal space to work on collaborative projects. Community partners and other non-city stakeholders are also invited to use the Lab when working with the City and its representatives on a common initiative. The Lab is functionally divided into two parts: one space for scheduled meetings that offers technology-enabled work tables and two large wall monitors, and a second space for either working individually or for smaller, impromptu gatherings among co-workers. Sessions large enough to require scheduling should involve cross-departmental participation with the intent to develop new solutions to the City’s challenges; the Lab is not to be scheduled for normal business such as staff meetings.

How does the Innovation Lab get reserved and scheduled?

To check the availability of the Innovation Lab and reserve it for a larger meeting, or to reserve one of the technology-enabled work tables, please contact a member of the Innovation Management team (listed above) with the date, time and proposed purpose of the meeting. With the exception of larger sessions that require specific technology, there is no need to reserve the Innovation Lab because it is primarily intended as a drop-in work space.

What are the technology capabilities of the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is outfitted with five mounted screens; three screens (one 70 inch and two 50 inch) are affixed to the wall while each of the two smallest screens (both 40 inch) is attached to a work table with seating for seven that also offers CityNet connectivity. The Lab offers wireless Internet access for all guests, and it is possible to project from device to screen throughout the Lab.

For work that doesn’t specifically require technology, the Lab offers multiple double-sided, movable white boards, as well as a bank of wall-mounted white boards. Dry erase markers, erasers, HDMI cables, Ethernet cables and remote controls for each screen are available for use in the Lab.

What happens in the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is intended as a place for learning and accommodates individual use, cross-departmental co-working, and scheduled programming. Programming will take a number of forms, including topical research modules in areas such as GIS and spatial analysis, health IT, economic development, and arts & culture. The Lab will also develop programming to enhance civic collaboration and engagement; external participants could include local technology start-ups, representatives from the open data community, youth affiliated with local nonprofits, and advocates for technology access. Further, the Lab can be used as a training room and test site for new technology, processes, and programs to facilitate innovative thinking across Philadelphia.

What's New

Academy of Municipal Innovation Graduates

  • Graduating Class of 2014