Austin’s Leaders are Launching and Resourcing the City’s Innovation District

Austin joins the National League of Cities as a national leading city on innovation, STEM education, and entrepreneurship

On November 9th, the City of Austin joined the National League of Cities, Schmidt Futures, and fifty leading cities from across the country to take action to support Austin’s innovation economy.

The accepted cities are part of a new program at the National League of Cities—the City Innovation Ecosystem Program—that aims to support cities that have made specific and important commitments to local entrepreneurship, STEM education, or innovation. NLC announced the cities it would partner with at its annual City Summit in Los Angeles to over 3,500 attendees representing more than 1,500 cities.

Austin gained acceptance into NLC’s Call to Action through its commitment to launch Austin's Innovation District based on a sustainable, inclusive, coalition model.

The initiative demonstrates the power of effective collaboration between public, private, and civic partners. Capital City Innovation, the City of Austin, Central Health, the Dell Medical School at the University ofTexas at Austin, Downtown Austin Alliance, Opportunity Austin, Seton Ascension Health, Travis County, the Office of State Senator Kirk Watson and their various partners commit to a public-private-civic partnership to launch Austin's Innovation District.

In 2019, the partnership will adopt a charter, complete an evaluation of industry cluster development, initiate a community benefit program strategy, initiate an infrastructure plan, begin physical preparations on a 14-acre site, and break ground on its first development.

“When accepting cities, we look for two things. First, leadership that is tenacious and willing to forge cross-sector partnerships and commitments to action that will take full advantage of a city’s unique strengths.” Said Scott Andes, Program Director for the Innovation Ecosystem Program.

Through this commitment, Austin will join The National League of Cities and other nationally recognized innovation leaders to share best practices, connect with national firms and foundations and gain technical support, and national recognition through NLC forums and publications.

See the full report or read the press release.


Victoria O'Dell, Program and Communications Manager, Capital City Innovation
As Program and Communications Manager of Capital City Innovation, Victoria facilitates channels for collaborative work around Austin's emerging Innovation district in downtown Austin and beyond. Previously, she was a freelance designer working with non-profits, small businesses, and startups across Austin.

Follow Victoria on Twitter @victoria_odell