-- Israeli Municipalities are First Funded Outside the United States for Expanded Innovation Teams Program
NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo are the first non-U.S. cities selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of its Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens' lives – relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.
Grant funds will allow mayors to hire and fund innovation teams – often called "i-teams" -- for up to three years. Jerusalem will receive $850,000 per year, focusing initially on poverty and economic development. Tel Aviv-Yafo will receive $650,000 per year, focusing initially on issues related to cost of living and illegal immigration. Innovation teams help agency leaders and staff through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.
"Successful innovation depends as much on the ability to generate ideas as it does the capacity to execute them – and i-teams help cities do both," said philanthropist Michael Bloomberg. "More and more city governments around the world are eager to innovate, so we're excited to expand the program beyond U.S. borders by bringing i-teams to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo."
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat said: "Jerusalem is proud and honored to have been selected to receive the 2014 Bloomberg Philanthropies i-teams grant. This grant is an investment in the future of the city of Jerusalem, as well as recognition that Jerusalem is a hub for innovation. It is quite fitting that one of the world's most ancient cities will be generating new thought leadership and clarity on how cities approach challenges, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies' i-teams. Our professional staff is looking forward to joining the network of cities who are working together with Bloomberg Philanthropies to transform their cities into hubs for effective urban solutions."
Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai said: "A great honor has been awarded to the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo which is to receive the Bloomberg Philanthropies i-teams grant. I would like to thank the Foundation for its belief in our abilities to make a positive impact on the lives of our residents. Cities around the world face strategic challenges, testing for any government. Our situation is no different. I am confident that our cooperation with the Bloomberg Foundation will be fruitful, matching the successful experiences of other cities and will yield innovative solutions for the benefit of our residents and visitors alike.״
Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that grants will go to the U.S. cities of Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. Teams in all cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo, will begin their work in Spring 2015. In addition to the grants, cities receive robust implementation support and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices from peers in other cities.
The innovation teams grants are the second round made through Bloomberg Philanthropies' Government Innovation programs. The first round funded teams in the U.S. cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Successes include reducing retail vacancies in Memphis, minimizing unnecessary ambulance trips to the emergency room in Louisville, cutting licensing time for new restaurants in Chicago, reducing homelessness in Atlanta, and reducing the murder rate in New Orleans.
"The fact is there are very few tools or reliable approaches available to mayors who want to innovate more often, more effectively, and with a better return on that investment for residents," said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies. "The Bloomberg Philanthropies' i-teams program helps cities get better at innovation, which is vital given the increasing constraints under which so many of our mayors work today."
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies' mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.
Edelman, Ann Clark, email@example.com
SOURCE Bloomberg Philanthropies