The Office of Performance and Innovation leads process improvement and innovation programs for the City of Durham by collaborating with staff, residents, local businesses, and partner agencies to bring new ideas and improved practices into City government in efforts to bring about better outcomes for the organization and community.

Innovate Durham

Innovate Durham is a 16-week partnership program that turns the City of Durham and Durham County into a lab to test new ideas, products or services. Through the program participants (private businesses based in Durham) get access to staff, data and facilities to assist with making Durham more efficient and encourage a culture of innovation at the City and County. 


IdeaStarter is an annual campaign for employees to submit their innovative ideas for prototype funding and development. In addition to learning innovation design principles and prototyping their ideas, employees build strong internal connections through the IdeaStarter cohort and alumni network. 

Due to impacts of COVID-19, the 2020 IdeaStarter Cohort has been extended and will conclude during Fiscal Year 2021. Check back for the Annual Report.

Read our annual IdeaStarter reports:

IdeaStarter Annual Report 2019

IdeaStarter Annual Report 2018

IdeaStarter Annual Report 2017

Durham City-County IdeaLab

IdeaLab is a joint venture with Durham County to provide a forum for employees to be exposed to innovation concepts, tools, and approaches. IdeaLab occurs every other month and due to COVID-19 the sessions have moved to a virtual format.

To learn more about IdeaLab, contact Nathalie Floyd

Learn more about the City of Durham Innovation Team 

The City of Durham’s Innovation Team was established under a three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies (2017 - 2020). Our Innovation Team is now a part of the City’s Office of Performance and Innovation (OPI). To learn more about the Innovation Team’s previous work, please visit City of Durham Bloomberg-funded Innovation Team.