2018 Innovate Durham Challenge Statements

Innovate Durham is a 12-week partnership program that turns the City of Durham and Durham County into a lab to test an idea product or service. In our second year we added a new feature, specific policy challenges. Applicants to the program could apply to solve one of 7 challenges or submit their own idea. More information on each challenge is below. 

Digitizing Planning
Digitizing Planning

The City-County Planning Department is looking to do more of its work digitally. Specifically, there are three areas where the department wants new ideas and approaches to how it does its work: better informing interested residents and neighbors of proposed developments; creating a system to allow for the digital submittal, review, tracking and approval of development applications; and, digitizing and indexing archival planning records.

Vision Zero
Vision Zero

Durham recognizes that no traffic fatalities or serious injuries are acceptable. Designers and users of the roads share responsibility for the safety of all road users. The City is committed to making its streets safer for residents and is open to new ideas or technology that can help us get to zero traffic fatalities or injuries. Learn more: Vision Zero Webpage.

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Economic Opportunity for Justice Involved Residents

Durham’s Bloomberg Innovation Team has been researching ways to better serve residents involved with the criminal justice system. There are four areas where the team is seeking new ideas and approaches: connecting residents with service providers and service providers with one another; a digital “one-stop shop” and case management platform for returning residents; a background check system that shows what employers care about and informs them about what matters most to manage risk; and an easy way for residents to check their record for charges eligible for expungement. Learn more: Bloomberg Innovation Team Website.

Economic Opportunity
Serving the Hispanic Community

Residents who speak Spanish or English as a second language comprise one of the largest and fastest growing communities in Durham. The City of Durham government strives to serve every resident, regardless of the language they speak. We want to find better ways to serve this population, from helping them access services and programs to participating in their local government. .

Smart Cities
Smart Cities

Durham wants to be at the leading edge of the smart cities movement. Both the City and County want to integrate Internet of Things and Smart Cities technology into their infrastructure, including physical (utilities, transportation) and digital (wireless, IoT sensors). Submit an idea for a smart city initiative to improve efficiency and quality of life by harnessing technology. Learn more: Smart City Campus in Cary, NC.

Lifelong Learning
Lifelong Learning

Durham County Library seeks to encourage lifelong learning and a love of literacy within the community. To continue to best serve the growing community, the library continually seeks new and innovative ways to connect people with the information they need and want. With the Transformation of Main Library, Durham County Library aims to expand services to support our growing business and entrepreneurship community. The Library is seeking new ideas and approaches to connect subject-matter experts (business, financial, marketing, etc) in the community to individuals and groups that desire or could benefit from their expertise.

Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness

Public safety and emergency response are vital services provided by both the City and County of Durham. A key component of these services is communicating with Durham residents and visitors in the event of an emergency. Durham County Emergency Management is seeking new ideas or approaches that can revolutionize both the ways it communicates and engages with residents during times of emergency and how it provides information about public safety preparedness. 

Idea Management
Idea Management

As part of a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, Durham County is seeking new ways to gather ideas that enhance service delivery in the organization’s 27 departments. Great ideas come from members of the public and County employees alike. The County is interested in technology, products and other related offerings that improve how the organization asks for and manages service improvement ideas big, small and in-between.

Open Call

Open Call

Submit your own idea! The City of Durham and Durham County are seeking new ideas, technologies and approaches that add value to the Durham community. If you are a startup, social entrepreneur or interested in civic tech we want to hear from you. Apply for our “open call” for ideas.