South Bend Technology Resource Center- A Collaboration Platform for a Responsive Inclusive Beta City

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South Bend’s Technology Resource Center: A Collaboration Platform for a Responsive, Inclusive Beta City
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Team Members South Bend Code School, Code Works, South Bend Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge
Point of Contact Denise Linn Riedl, Chief Innovation Officer, Sounth Bend, Indiana
Participating Municipalities South Bend, IN, USA
Status
Website
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Description

South Bend prides itself on being a Beta City – a City that embraces new technology, creative partnerships, and new approaches to improve resident experiences and service delivery. The Technology Resource Center (TRC) will not only be a home for this work, but will also house programming to make sure that our “Beta City” is equitable. The Center will offer in-demand tech training, host collaborative cross-sector projects and events, and provide opportunities for residents to engage with city problem solving through data and tech.

Challenges

The City of South Bend is experiencing several ecosystem challenges and opportunities at once: First, we are experiencing increased demand for tech and data analytics skills. Second, as more tech and innovative programs are rolled out in out in our “Beta City”, we need a place where the public can learn about how they city is evolving and shape the city’s tech future.

Solutions

Major Requirements

Leverage City Support and Regional Philanthropic Support to Fund the TRC (accomplished); Create a broad 5-year plan and governance structure for the TRC (accomplished); Gauge the skills and technology challenge most in demand that the TRC can address (in progress); Recruit training partners and tenants to add value to the TRC (in progress);Build out the TRC (in progress); Launch the TRC space and programming (scheduled for Fall 2019)

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Measurement Methods
  • 100 residents trained in year 1
  • The number of new tech collaborations/partnerships incubated
  • Tracking participation
  • Participant surveys (pre and post assessments) and focus groups

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

Right now 4-5 years of operational and programmatic funding for the TRC is already secure. A 5+ year plan is being developed right now. In the long run, we see the TRC being its own nonprofit focused on ecosystem support and coordination around civic technology and skill building.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

The City plans to leverage the TRC to host conversations and programming around privacy and data governance as it relates to the public.

Impacts

We anticipate that the TRC will stimulate new technology partnerships, increase tech skills, and create a stronger local pipeline for entry level technology positions. We see all of these outcomes fueling inclusive economic growth and innovation.

Demonstration/Deployment

In mid-2019, this project will be pre-launch, but solidly planned. We could speak to the gaps, the mission, and the partners aligned at that point. We would know which local tenants would join the City at the TRC and what the year one of training would look like.