New innovation lab to help steer Philly toward cutting edge

 Innovation Lab (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Innovation Lab (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

What does Philadelphia’s new innovation lab do? It’s like having your young child help program your smart phone.

It’s a bit like having a child help program your smartphone.

The goal of the room near the top of the city’s Municipal Services Building is to bring young and old thinkers together to hammer our the city’s issues and come up with high-tech solutions, said Richard Negrin, city managing director.

“Breaking down silos in city government, partnering with folks on the outside — the tech community, our kids — and bringing our children and our neighborhoods into the lab for solving civic problems,” Negrin said of the work that will take place in the lab.

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Mayor Michael Nutter says the goals of the innovation lab are problem solving and improving the way people work within the city government.

“Innovation is more than just a word,” said Nutter. “It’s a series of ideas … it’s how you think, it’s how you interact, it’s what you do. You can make things still in the United States of America.”

Negrin said he will be talking with high-tech vendors in the city about about beta-testing pre-production models so the city is on the cutting edge — instead of generations behind — in technology.

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