History of innovation teams

What does a city innovation team do?


Bloomberg Philanthropies supports Innovation Teams (i-teams) in more than 20 cities in four countries. Multi-year grants are awarded to cities to create in-house i-teams to help city leaders innovate effectively and tackle critical challenges. Innovation Teams bring new problem-solving tools and techniques to cities to deliver results for residents across multiple issue areas. The i-teams program is part the American Cities Initiative, a suite of investments that empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward.

Reporting to the mayor or city manager, i-teams work closely with residents and city staff to design solutions with clear goals and rigorously measure progress. By establishing i-teams, city leaders are creating the space for staff to step away from their daily work in order to rethink seemingly intractable problems, capitalize on new opportunities, reimagine outcomes, and change the culture of city hall.

What have i-teams achieved?

  • The Syracuse i-team has transformed the city’s ailing infrastructure, reducing water main breaks by 20 percent, filling over 15,000 potholes, more than doubling its speed in resolving requests for repairs from residents, saving over $1.2 million on infrastructure costs, and winning $750,000 more in state infrastructure grants.
  • The Tel Aviv i-team has launched innovative efforts like shared study spaces, youth-led summer camps, and an affordable school lunch program that have the potential to save some families up to $18,000 per year.
  • The Atlanta i-team helped the City find permanent housing for more than a thousand residents experiencing chronic homelessness.
  • The Mobile i-team has helped the City more than triple the number of blighted properties it remediates each year, revitalizing neighborhoods and restoring value to homeowners.




    The Baltimore Innovation Team formed in August 2017.  Meet the i-team

    The Baltimore Innovation Team formed in August 2017. Meet the i-team

    Where else are i-teams located?

    There are i-teams in cities across the United States and even some overseas: Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Detroit, MI; Durham, NC; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Seattle, WA; Syracuse, NY; Be’er Sheva, Israel; Jerusalem, Israel; Tel Aviv, Israel; Toronto, Canada and France.