The Alliance for Innovation, formerly the Innovation Groups, has been expanding its network to more and more local governments and creating partnerships since its inception, but its most important partnership was the partnership established between the Alliance for Innovation and the International City/County Management Assocation (ICMA) and Arizona State University (ASU).
History of the Partnership and the Birth of the Alliance for Innovation
In late 2002, earnest talks of forming an alliance between The Innovation Groups and The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) began. IG and ICMA initiated co-sponsored workshops to test the waters of this new relationship. With the retirement of founder Bob Havlick in June, 2003, a new era began when former Texas City Manager Bob Hart became the IG President in December, 2003. Hart worked with the IG Board and ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill to find a key third partner. All parties agreed that a university partner was essential to forge an alliance that would bring cutting-edge ideas and applied research to local governments. IG issued a request for interest among universities and with ICMA began the search for the last peg of the alliance.
On June 2, 2006, the Innovation Groups Board unanimously voted to choose Arizona State University as the university partner for the alliance. The ICMA Board also approved ASU as the alliance. In Yuma, AZ on October 13 and 14, three representatives of ASU and three representatives of ICMA joined the IG board for the first alliance board meeting. The group amended the IG bylaws to incorporate the new board structure and decided that IG would become the “Alliance for Innovation.” This new name was put to a vote of the IG membership in May, 2007 and passed with 179 “Yes” votes, 4 “No” votes, and 161 with no response. On June 1, 2007, the organization legally became the “Alliance for Innovation, Inc.”
The Alliance continues today with partner Arizona State University.
Enhanced Research Partnership
When the Innovation Groups (Alliance for Innovation), ICMA and Arizona State University, partnered to transform local government, they did so by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations through research. Capitalizing on the strengths of each of its components, the Alliance launched with a vision to become the premier force for innovation in local governance.
To fulfill its intended purpose, the Alliance for Innovation, in collaboration with ICMA's Center for Management Strategies created a framework to disseminate new leading practices to local governments. The result of this framework is the Enhanced Research Partnership.
As the Enhanced Research Partnership has grown, research on these leading practices has been developed and can be found on the Alliance website.