Irvine, CA plans innovation lab for startups
The Innovation Lab will be owned by the city, but Irvine will lease the space to the Innovation Council. The council, founded in late 2021, aims to attract, retain and support high-growth technology businesses to “help position Irvine as a regional hub for innovation and technology,” city officials said at the time of its launch.
Milton Keynes Council, GB launches MK Tech Fund for start-ups
Milton Keynes City Council partnered with the Milton Keynes Investors Group to create the MK Tech Fund, a new funding scheme designed to provide financial support to tech-based start-ups based in Milton Keynes who have fewer than ten employees and who have been trading for less than three years. By ‘tech’ the city council means the business is either developing new technology or using existing technology in an innovative way. Funding comes from the city council’s £3.5m Economic Recovery Plan.
Milton Keynes Council, GB
Las Vegas, NV uses Bludot platform for Open Rewards local purchase incentives program
Open Rewards Las Vegas offers 10% cash-back incentives for purchases made at participating small businesses. Residents download the Open Rewards app and link their credit cards or upload receipts to claim their incentives. Business eligibility requirements include local ownership, fewer than 500 employees, and continuous operations since December 2019 or earlier. Las Vegas used $1 million in American Rescue Act funds to operate the program through June 2024.
Las Vegas, NV
Ipswich, QLD Made You Look pilot promotes effective retail practices in Ipswich Central
Ipswich partnered with Shopology on a multi-faceted pilot supporting local shops in the busy neighborhood. Participants receive online store reviews and in-person store audits from Dr. Louise Grimmer, an expert in retail marketing. The council offers grants of up to AUD 500 per business to implement personalized recommendations. A February 2024 workshop called Boosting Main Street Shopping will explain how to delight consumers with innovative store layouts and displays.
London Borough of Hounslow, GB elevates small businesses with Advance for Growth competition
Advance for Growth seeks applications from locally registered businesses with less than 25 employees and £5 million in annual income. The winning business receives one year of free Digital Out-of-Home advertising across the borough. Outdoor advertising partner JCDecaux provides personalized audience insights, planning, and creative consultations. Additional benefits for the winner include one year of business mentoring from the council and a front-page feature in Let's Talk Business magazine.
London Borough of Hounslow, GB
New York, NY lays the groundwork for sustainable building design with the NYC Mass Timber Studio
Design and architecture teams with early-phase mass timber concepts are sought for the nine-month program. Each team receives ongoing guidance from WoodWorks and the city's Department of Buildings. These consultations range from life cycle assessments of building materials to cost-benefit analyses. Selected projects also receive $25,000 grants from the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program to turn preliminary ideas into final designs.
New York, NY
Henry County, GA charts path on freight infrastructure with Smart Resilience Decision Support Tool
County officials seek sustainable solutions to freight vehicle traffic and warehouse site selection. The digital tool models the impacts of potential infrastructure projects on factors like transport accessibility, social vulnerability, and land-use suitability. County planners and community stakeholders adjust factor importance in search of optimal infrastructure solutions. Henry County received a $92,800 grant from the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge for the tool's development.
Henry County, GA
Coquitlam, BC and UrbanLogiq turn city operations data into tech-based service improvements
Coquitlam selected UrbanLogiq for a two-year pilot through the regional Project Greenlight procurement system. This partnership focuses on gathering and analyzing data in three service areas: Economic Development, Parks, and Transportation. New insights will shape sustainable approaches to business growth, park design, and traffic management. City officials anticipate service improvements aligned with Coquitlam's Environmental Sustainability Plan at the pilot's conclusion.
Weber County, UT collaborates with Qnergy on the conversion of landfill methane to electricity
A Qnergy PowerGen generator was installed at a county landfill closed in 1996. PowerGen technology converts methane and other gases into electricity using a frictionless combustion system. The generator requires little regular maintenance and achieves nearly 100% destruction of methane. Electrical output of up to 5.5 kilowatts will be sent to nearby Fort Buenaventura Park. County officials and Qnergy are also working with VeriCarbon on monetizing carbon credits for expanded PowerGen use.
Weber County, UT
Moyne, VIC Worker Accommodation program takes aim at housing impacts on regional labor market
The program recognizes the connection between housing shortages and long-term vacancies in key industries. Council-owned cabins were installed in caravan parks at Koroit and Mortlake. Each fully furnished unit includes a living room, kitchenette, and HVAC system. Moyne works with interested employers on placing new hires in worker accommodations. The short-term accommodations help workers ease into new roles and can be rented out to tourists when not in use.
San Antonio, TX Ready to Work program provides customized guidance into in-demand careers
Ready to Work uses $200 million in voter-approved funding to train local workers for jobs in target industries. Eligible participants are city residents aged 18 and older who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level. An online course catalog connects trainees to subsidized certifications and degrees through partner institutions. Dedicated coaches work with participants on interview skills, financial planning, and securing short-term funds for job-related needs.
San Antonio, TX
Richmond, BC and neighboring cities diversify local economy with Supply Chain Resiliency Program
Richmond, Surrey, and Langley created the program to better use industrial capacity during COVID-19. A survey of local manufacturers resulted in an Industrial Capabilities Inventory for the production of pandemic-related supplies. Participating businesses accessed a toolkit for minimizing the risks of shifting to new markets and technologies. Technology Adoption Workshops demonstrated how manufacturers could survive the pandemic and thrive in its wake.