Minneapolis partners with Saint Paul, University of Minnesota in national MetroLab Network

The cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the University of Minnesota are now founding members of the recently created MetroLab Network. The network, announced at the White House’s Smart Cities Forum last week, creates partnerships between metro areas and their universities to solve challenges in the arenas of infrastructure, city services and civic engagement. These challenges face urban areas nationwide. As network partners,  Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the University of Minnesota will  collaborate on smart solutions to challenges in our metro area and also throughout the 20 other cities and counties and 25 universities that have partnered in the MetroLab Network. 

Universities possess the expertise to develop and implement technologies, while governments possess the knowledge to deploy these technologies in real-world settings. The MetroLab Network will provide the opportunity to share successes, address challenges and build platforms for experimentation and data to increase the tangible results of new innovations. The network is based on previous successes including transportation and water infrastructure projects that increased efficiency and reduced environmental impacts.

Participation in the MetroLab Network will require that City/University partners develop a memorandum of understanding between home metro partners, designate representatives responsible for maintaining the collaboration with the MetroLab Network, and host an active set of research, development and deployment projects.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation provided $1 million in support of the launch of the MetroLab Network. MacArthur’s grant is one of a small number of investments by the foundation in efforts to use data and information technologies to better understand how cities work and to improve the urban condition.

The founding network members will organize a series of workshops to determine the parameters of network collaboration and appoint an executive director to manage network affairs.

Learn more about the MetroLab Network.

Published Sep 22, 2015

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