Innovation Committees


Request: Looking for examples of innovation committees (both from cities and counties) including their purpose, how they operate, and what interaction they have with the staff in developing and executing innovation strategies. Also would like to see examples of these committees that may have members of their elected body on them, and also what the council/board's role is overall with innovation in these examples. The innovation committee's work may possibly pair the subject of innovation with process improvement, quality management, and technology.


Summary of Findings

City of Long Beach: Technology and Innovation Commission

Purpose and Operation:  

  • Evaluate research concerning emerging technology and its uses in City government and the community at large;
  • Identify technology needs and opportunities in the community and the recommendation of program strategies for implementation by City staff;
  • Evaluate and recommend outreach plans for City technology programs;
  • Perform other duties related to technology and innovation as may be requested from time to time by the City Council.


Foster City: Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee

Mission Statement: 

“The Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee serves to advise and assist the City Council and staff on emerging technology matters that meet the needs of the community today and prepare Foster City for the future”.


The committee consists of five (5) members (Foster City residents), appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council for terms of three years each. Members serve without compensation.

Meeting Dates and Time: 

The Second Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. in the Foster City Council Chambers Conference Room, 620 Foster City Boulevard, Foster City.

Staff Liaison:

Phone: 650-286-3216


San Antonio: Innovation and Technology Committee

Purpose and Operation:           

  • Considers emerging trends and technologies and assess their potential impacts on the community.
  • Provides recommendations and policy guidance that further San Antonio’s “smart city” goals, such as enhancing cyber security, promoting digital inclusion, improving mobility, expanding municipal broadband, and pursuing economic opportunity.
  • Initial goal was to bridge digital divide in San Antonio
  • Has 2 staff liaisons
  • Acts as an advisory committee


City of San Ramon: Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee

Purpose and Operation:

  • Advise the Council on policies, initiatives, and practices related to innovation and technology that could enhance services to the public and increase efficiencies
  • Assist staff in evaluating emerging trends and technologies, and make recommendations for implementing new systems and improving existing services
  • Provide policy guidance on the implementation of "Smart City" policies focusing on areas such as cybersecurity, promoting digital inclusion, improving mobility, enhancing public safety, and developing communication tools
  • Assist with following legislative developments, funding opportunities, and evaluating agreements and proposals
  • Public committee filled by residents


Steven Spedowfski - Deputy City Manager
(925) 973-2632


City of Seattle: Smart City and Community Innovation Committee, Community Technology Advisory Board


  • Improving traffic congestion,
  • Fostering economic growth,
  • Improving the delivery of government services through Seattle's Smart City initiatives.
  • The CTAB seeks to support the emerging work stemming from Seattle IT and other departments within the City that are working on technological solutions to improve systems and the day-to-day life of Seattleites.


City of Coral Gables: Innovation Council


  • Informal think-tank with qualified members appointed by Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, with input from Commissioners, Academia, City Manager’s Office, Economic Development and Information Technology directors. 

Operation Goals:

  • Find cutting edge, scalable, and cost-effective solutions to urban and government organization problems in the City.
  • Help the City build a culture of innovation, with ideas that challenge conventional thinking and inspire change.
  • Leverage research to identify leading practices and emerging issues.
  • Propose strategies to make government more efficient and better integrate smart city technology solutions to improve citizen services and quality of life (IoT, enterprise systems, smart apps, etc.)
  • Accelerate technology into City government and community.
  • Identify smart city trends, use cases and success stories that may benefit the City.


City of Los Angeles: Innovation and Performance Commission


Program for employees to submit ideas and receive funding for innovation programs.

Program Guidelines:

  • Be Innovative and Original - Does the idea demonstrate how it keeps Los Angeles ahead of the curve?
  • Support Greater Efficiencies - Does the idea improve a process, save time, increase collaboration among departments, provide the potential for long-term benefits, or generate revenue and/or cost savings?
  • Emphasize Priority Outcomes and Quality of Life - Does the idea help create a prosperous City, a livable and sustainable City, a safe City, and/or a well-run government?
  • Be Feasible and Measurable - Can the idea be executed and measured within six to 12 months of being funded? Does the idea need funding year after year or only one time? A one-time award from the Innovation Fund should be sufficient to implement your great idea. Prior to the award, each project should have clear metrics for evaluating the impact of the idea, and the Commission and staff can help develop those metrics.
  • Funds are provided to the department that will implement the What IF idea.


City of Phoenix: Transportation, Infrastructure, and Innovation

Purpose: This is a Subcommittee of the Phoenix City Council and provides policy guidance on issues related to: infrastructure; transportation; transit; streets; aviation/airport; water; technology; smart cities; innovation; sustainability.

Membership: This committee contains elected members including Thelda Williams, Chair, Betty Guardado, Laura Pastor, Debra Stark


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