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Metro Newsroom


Louisville Awarded $4.8 Million Grant to Improve City Services, Encourage Innovation

Thursday July 14, 2011

Project part of nationwide initiative funded by
Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded Louisville a $4.8 million grant to help bring innovation and breakthrough ideas to improve city services and grow jobs in advanced automotive manufacturing.

The grant, awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is among the largest awarded to the city in years and will be matched with $2.4 million in local dollars, creating a $7.2 million project.

“My goal as mayor is to create an entrepreneurial culture in Louisville that focuses on innovation and breakthrough ideas,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This grant helps our city make a giant leap toward that goal.”

This grant will allow Louisville to innovate in two areas:

· making government more efficient and delivering better services to citizens;

· creating an educational and technical pipeline to grow jobs in advanced manufacturing as part of the Louisville/Lexington super-region economic development initiative.

The money will be used to hire Innovation Delivery Teams that will work full-time on problem solving. The teams, as an example, could help examine how the city collects garbage and recycling to determine ways to make the operation more efficient and cost-effective.

The teams will also help develop LouieStat, a database that will be shared with the public to help citizens solve city problems.

The grant is the first made through the Mayors Project, the new government innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Mayors Project has two goals: increase innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminate effective programs and policies across cities. Additional investments will be made through the Mayors Project over the coming year. Other cities receiving grants today are Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.

“Mayors are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing challenges – from growing jobs to fighting climate change to keeping quality of life high,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “The Mayors Project will fuel these efforts by spreading effective programs and strategies between cities and helping mayors work together in new ways around solutions. We are excited to kick off this new initiative in partnership with these five great American cities.”

The Innovation Delivery Team model draws from successful approaches that have been utilized worldwide. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bloomberg established teams to develop and implement bold anti-poverty, sustainability, and efficiency agendas. Similarly, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair formed the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit to achieve impact in transportation, education, health, and criminal justice. In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit has documented critical gains in advancing that nation’s government and economic transformation plans.

The five cities selected are all large American cities with strong executive forms of municipal government. Most of the mayors are in the first 18 months of their first terms in office, giving the Innovation Delivery Teams sufficient time to achieve impact under the current administration. Team leaders shall report directly to the mayor and oversee a team of five to ten members, depending on city size and scope.