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September 9, 2015 – Pittsburgh Business Times, By Justine Coyne

After more than a year of roundtables, surveys and analysis, the City of Pittsburgh on Tuesday launched the Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation, a strategic plan aimed at supporting access to technology, city resources and information.

Led by the city’s Department of Innovation & Performance and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the Roadmap includes more than 100 projects and initiatives the City of Pittsburgh will undertake in the coming months and years.

“As we start thinking about what the city will be, what we want it to become, we have to understand that we have to design into it opportunities for all to be a part of it,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday speaking at a launch event for the Roadmap.

The Department of Innovation & Performance, which was created in 2014 when Peduto took office, has identified three primary goals for the plan: bridge the digital divide and facilitate residents’ participation in the new economy; improve the city’s capacity to serve the public in the digital age; and increase Pittsburgh’s resilience in the digital age by strengthening the clean tech and local business sectors.

Robert Rubinstein, acting executive director of the URA, said his organization will help in carrying out the mission of the Roadmap in a number of ways, including increasing access to capital for entrepreneurs, supporting the infrastructure needed to build upon Pittsburgh’s innovation economy, and expand local resources and support for programming.

While there is a plan in place, Debra Lam, chief innovation and performance officer for the City of Pittsburgh, said the Roadmap should be seen as a living document.

“I believe innovation is a process and not an end state,” she said.

Unlike approaches other cities have taken, with this approach inclusion is a priority, she said.

Of the actions that have been identified, some projects are already in motion, such as the city’s ongoing partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Metro21 which works to design, develop, deploy and evaluate solutions to challenges affecting the economy and quality of life in metro areas, to Cue, or Connecting Urban Entrepreneurs, a new program founded in partnership by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Chatham University, Google Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Urban Innovation21, which helps entrepreneurs establish an online presence.

“Today is a historic day because it gives us the ability to scale a program like this,” said Urban Innovation President and CEO . “Now we have the policy in place to take this program and serve 10, 15, 20 neighborhoods.”

Also on Tuesday the city announced the launch of Beacon, a new free service built by the city’s Code for America fellows, which notifies businesses about city contract opportunities and how to apply for them.

The city is hosting an event Thursday at Fuel and Fuddle for local business owners to learn more about Beacon and how they can connect with the city on procurement opportunities. Business owners can RSVP for the event, which will be held at Fuel and Fuddle in Oakland from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. here.

You can view the Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation online here.


The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.