The General Services Administration will be partnering with the City Innovate Foundation, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a 5,000-square-foot lab to foster technological collaboration between public and private entities.
Called the Superpublic innovation lab, the project announced Tuesday is designed to improve technological capabilities for city and state programs.
“New technologies, the Internet, and the digital economy are sources of job creation, enablers of global trade and commerce, and key elements of America’s competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Superpublic creates a forum to bring together leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to create digital solutions that address our cities’ most pressing issues and develop stronger partnerships in the process.”
GSA partnered with San Francisco specifically because of the digital capability the city has already shown on its own.
“San Francisco is recognized as the innovation capital of the world, and we have the opportunity to accelerate innovative solutions to city problems and share these solutions with more cities in the U.S. and the world with our partners,” said Kamran Saddique, founder and CEO of City Innovate Foundation.
The project is based on the successes of Superpublic in Paris, Future Cities Catapult in the United Kingdom, MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Civic Hall in New York, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It plans to tackle projects such as creating more digital services in government, expanding technologies for smart cities, and ensuring government procurement of the highest quality products.
“Entrepreneurs want a place where they can collaborate with government to improve their cities. Superpublic will give citizens a seat at the table to work on our most pressing issues,” said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Superpublic is scheduled to open by late spring 2016, and will be located in the same offices as the U.S. Digital Service and 18F. The program is expected to tackle three or four projects a year, which will be selected by a steering committee, co-chaired by the U.S. GSA, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, and the City Innovate Foundation.