Louisville opening LouieLab for collaborative civic innovation, performance improvement

August 24, 2016

Leading consumer tech media brand also to team up with city on new smart apartment

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced plans for LouieLab — a civic innovation hub for public-private collaboration, and the new offices for the city’s Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation.

The city-owned space, at 745 Main St., next to the Kentucky Science Center, will also house the CNET Urban Smart Home, CNET’s newest initiative to explore and explain the burgeoning smart home technology space. The apartment promises to showcase and explore the many combinations of smart home products in an urban-living environment.

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“Continuous improvement and innovation are bedrocks of Louisville Metro Government, and so is the belief in the problem-solving power of collaboration among citizens, businesses and their government. LouieLab is the physical manifestation of our commitment to these principles,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “I’m excited and eager to see the fantastic work that will come from this space.”

LouieLab will occupy one floor of the building and feature an open office space for OPI2 team. OPI2  works with city departments, community partners and national organizations to bring continuous improvement and innovation to Louisville Metro Government.

Two-thirds of that floor will be dedicated to an open space where city employees, civic hackers and other innovators will be able to hold scheduled events and meetings to discuss, collaborate and build solutions to challenges in Louisville. The space will also be used for training city employees on continuous improvement strategies.

“The work of OPI2 has repeatedly been recognized as a national best practice, and the concept of continuous improvement is now embedded in the culture of Louisville Metro Government.  LouieLab is further proof of our city’s commitment to delivering the best possible service to citizens,” said Theresa Reno-Weber, chief of Performance & Technology for the city.

Ted Smith, the city’s chief innovation officer, said: “Louisville is leading the trend of Smart Cities — communities that are embracing technology and data to better the quality of life of their citizens. LouieLab brings those goals to life, giving government and citizen civic hackers a place to build off each other’s ideas to create truly innovative and effective solutions for our city.”

CNET, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology and news with already a strong presence in Louisville, will use the fifth floor of the building as a “living lab” equipped with smart home technology. In the CNET Urban Smart Home, CNET editors will test, explain and educate consumers on using smart home technology in an urban apartment.

LouieLab and the CNET Urban Smart Home are expected to launch in September.

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