Civic News
Municipal government / STEM

Microsoft CityNext: Philly chosen for urban innovation program

The program, dubbed Microsoft CityNext, aims to help cities use technology to thrive, whether it's through STEM programs for students or an office in City Hall that helps government adopt new technologies.

Philadelphia is one of the thirteen cities around the world that has been chosen for an urban innovation program run by Microsoft, according to a release.

While the city will gain some pro bono IT support, it’s also a valuable way to keep Microsoft product in various departments, a method common among larger vendors.

The program, dubbed Microsoft CityNext, aims to help cities use technology to thrive, whether it’s through STEM programs for students or an office in City Hall that helps government adopt new technologies.

Philadelphia, the only North American city to be chosen for the program, will receive three years of Microsoft staff and technical support.

As per the release, some preliminary ideas about Philadelphia projects with CityNext include:

  • Assisting the City to establish a ‘municipal innovation lab,’ which sounds a lot like The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
  • Proofing the City’s concept for the creation of an office-of-the-future to streamline service delivery and improve workforce productivity
  • Providing technical support for hackathons and developer camps. Philly has lots of these: ph.ly/hackathons.
  • Awarding a software grant to a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education nonprofit
  • Creating a technical program to support minority students.

The effort sounds a lot like the IBM Smarter Cities challenge that the city won in 2011 and came with $500,000 in technology and consulting. While surely valuable, these contests could also be a sure fire way for large technology companies — like Microsoft and IBM — to get their technologies inside the city, which will then be more likely to pay for continued support, services and similar technology in the future. In short, it can be valuable lead generation.

Companies: City of Philadelphia / Microsoft

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!

Trending

9 don't-miss events for technologists and entrepreneurs this July

Top 3 vital trends founders should know before pitching investors in 2024

Philadelphia Police are investigating vandalism at the home of a Ghost Robotics exec and the company’s Penn HQ

An OpenAI advisor wants to help tech leaders embrace the humanities

Technically Media