September 8, 2020

City Innovate Announces STIR Labs 2020-2021 Cohort

San Francisco, CA — Today, City Innovate announced that nearly 20 governments from across the US were accepted into the inaugural cohort of STIR Labs, a ground-breaking program that transforms how government and researchers collaborate. 

STIR Labs curates local university-government partnerships so that local public funds are shared within the same space and reinvested in the community. STIR Labs focuses on localized government-university partnerships, leveraging academia’s expertise in civic engagement and community impact to improve government services. The program advances research, increases the diversity of researchers working with communities, identifies a new funding source for research, and promotes integrative research. We are proud to be advised by leading academics, senior government officials, and to be an awardee of the NSF EAGER grant, which awards proposals with potentially transformative research and research methodologies.

“We were blown away by the impressive applications we received from cities, counties, and government agencies worldwide. We are proud of the breadth and diversity reflected in the cohort. There is a strong desire from government to collaborate with academia and we’re excited to be the bridge that sparks that partnership,” said STIR Labs Director Susana Benavidez.

The 2020-2021 cohort will work on critical community issues, including transportation, urban planning, housing affordability, AI empowered decisions and solutions, economic recovery, and entrepreneurship amongst others. Over a 16-week project period, government staff and university researchers will co-develop insights and solutions for local and state governments. The program helps transform research needs into calls for research proposals, expand the local pool of researchers, and co-design solutions leading to meaningful community impact.   

Interested university researchers should submit an interest form to be notified when the challenges are published! We encourage all universities to apply, particularly universities located in the regions represented by the cohort members! 

Some of our 2020 Government Cohort Members Include: 

  • Austin, TX
  • Bay Area Metro, MTC in CA
  • City of Santa Fe, NM 
  • City of West Sacramento, CA
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Costa Mesa, CA   
  • County of San Diego, Council District 4
  • Detroit, MI
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Mobile, AL
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, CA  
  • San Jose, CA
  • San Leandro, CA

“STIR Labs is a new and exciting project that transforms how researchers collaborate with communities and we are inspired by the impressive projects that the 2020 City Innovate STIR Labs cohort will pursue. We see the program unlocking potential benefits to researchers who gain access to personnel and resources to address pressing community needs and funding entities who benefit from a set of well-developed, user-inspired research ideas,” said David Corman, Director National Science Foundation. 

STIR Labs leverages City Innovate’s success connecting government to startups via STiR. The STiR program has helped over 40 governments address over a hundred challenges by partnering with the most innovative govtech startups. City Innovate sits at the nexus between government and innovative solutions. We match the best and brightest startups and university researchers with governments primed for innovation, so our governments don’t get stuck with solutions that don’t work and partnerships that don’t fit.

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Additional quotes and interview opportunities available upon request.

About STIR Labs: STIR Labs connects researchers with government agencies and promotes integrative research by transforming how researchers and governments collaborate with the community. To learn more about STIR Labs visit: