The Plants Make Positive Places team, who received an Innovation Fund grant in 2015.
The Plants Make Positive Places team, who received an Innovation Fund grant in 2015.

The Innovation Fund is an annual grant opportunity funded by the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia and managed by the Innovation Management team in the City’s Office of Innovation and Technology.

The Innovation Fund provides grants to launch pilot initiatives proposed by City of Philadelphia employees that have the potential to improve the services and functions of municipal government. All City departments and agencies are eligible to apply.

The Innovation Fund prioritizes proposals for ideas and projects that:

  1. Have never been tried before in Philadelphia
  2. Pilot something that is a new and different approach for a given department
  3. Push Philadelphia to be the first city to solve a broader problem in a unique way
  4. Leverage partnerships and stakeholder collaboration, either internal or external to City government
  5. Focus on delivering services more effectively, equitably, and efficiently to all residents 

In August 2020, the Innovation Fund supported the following projects:

Licenses & Inspections – Online Customer Support Integration
Adding additional functionality to the eCLIPSE systems (i.e., online chat function for customers, ability to view customer’s screen) to allow for easier troubleshooting and improve customer experience.

Department of Prisons – Outdoor Refrigeration Unit for Philadelphia Orchard Project Orchard
Installing a self-contained outdoor refrigeration unit to facilitate the safe storage of harvested fruits and vegetables from the PDP Orchard until they can begin delivering to communities again after COVID-19.

Office of Immigrant Affairs – Multilingual Voter Guides
Partnering with local immigrant organizations on a user experience design process to develop multilingual voter guides for the general election in November that will be unlike any other election due to COVID-19.

Office of Domestic Violence Strategies – Marketing + Floor Decals for Domestic Violence Hotline
Working with Mural Arts to create floor decals to promote the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (PDVH) in grocery stores and bodegas.

Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual Disability Services – Youth Resource Bags
Providing trauma-exposed youth and families with resource bags full of arts-based coping strategies.

Office of Emergency Management – Pop-up Spraygrounds & Cooling Stations
Creating mobile / pop-up spray grounds and water bottle refill stations throughout Philadelphia in order to provide residents relief from high summer temps while pools and cooling stations are closed due to COVID-19.

Fire Department – High-tech 360-degree camera
Purchasing a high-tech, 360-degree view camera that will help improve the department’s investigation abilities, increase departmental efficiency, and provide added safety for fire marshals by limiting their time spent in dangerous structures

Please direct any questions about the Innovation Fund to Stephanie Orlando, Innovation Coordinator, at stephanie.orlando@phila.gov