• Publication provides key findings from year long research effort and recommendations for mayors and ministers to create their own teams 

Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, released a new report which highlights 20 of the world’s top innovation teams in government. The publication,  i-teams:  The  teams and  funds making innovation happen in governments around the world,  showcases innovation teams established by city, regional and national governments to develop and deliver new solutions to complex challenges.

Over the last year, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta completed a comprehensive scan of government innovation teams globally. This report describes some of the most compelling models in detail, identifies key learnings across the teams, and provides recommendations for mayors, ministers and other public leaders looking to create their own i-teams. 

“Innovation involves taking risks and trying new ideas, which doesn't often come easy to government. But more and more leaders around the world are embracing the challenge,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City from 2002 -2013.  “The i-teams report highlights 20 of the world’s most effective government innovation efforts and describes what makes them work so well. It’s a great resource for local and national leaders eager to take new approaches to big challenges.” 

The 20 i-teams are bringing new tools, methods and practices into the heart of traditional bureaucracies. They tackle a wide range of issues, from reducing murder rates and increasing educational attainment to promoting economic growth and engaging citizens in service redesign. 

Philip Colligan, deputy chief executive of Nesta and one of the report’s authors, said, “Governments have been responsible for some of the greatest innovations in modern history. The i-teams study shows us that city and national governments are still capable of amazing things when they create institutions that focus on the future. Too often executives focus on the performance of the current system, mainstream budgets sustain incumbent approaches, and bureaucracies reject experimentation and change. The 20 i-teams offer a glimpse of a new type of experimental government.” 

The research sheds light on a global phenomenon with a long history, but one which has grown rapidly over the past 15 years. The majority of the teams in the study were established after 2000, although the oldest was founded in 1967. The research team found that the greatest concentration of i-teams is currently in Europe and North America while  the number in Asia is rising rapidly. There are fewer i-teams in Africa, where the leading innovation organisations tend to be NGOs. 

Spanning six continents, the 20 teams featured in the report are: 

•  Barcelona Urban Lab  (Barcelona, Spain)

•  Behavioural Insights Team (UK)

•  Centre for Public Service Innovation (South Africa)

•  Centro de Innovación Social  (Colombia)

•  Fonds d'expérimentation pour la jeuness e (France)

•  Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)  (USA) 

•  La 27e Région (France)

•  Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics  (Boston, USA )

•  MindLab (Denmark)

•  Nesta Innovation Lab  (UK)

•  New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team (New Orleans, USA)

•  New York City Innovation Zone (iZone) (New York City, USA)

•  NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (New York City, USA)

•  Open Mexico (Mexico)

•  Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU)  (Malaysia )

•  PS21  Office  (Singapore)

•  Seoul Innovation Bureau (Seoul, South Korea)

•  Sitra (Finland )

•  The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) (South Australia )

•  VINNOVA  (Sweden)

The report was launched at an event at Nesta’s London headquarters that brought together over 100 public sector leaders.  Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta also announced the creation of a new website,  theiteams.org, to continue the study of this rapidly evolving field.

To read the  i-teams  report  and learn more about the research, visit theiteams.org.

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For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Sarah Reardon at Nesta ([email protected] / +44 (0)20 7438 2606) or Meghan Womack at Bloomberg Philanthropies ([email protected]).


About Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the  Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit  bloomberg.org or follow on  Facebook and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.


About Nesta 

Nesta is the UK’s  innovation foundation. An independent charity, we help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills.