Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of the global company, is providing seven municipalities across the world with grants through its Innovation Teams (i-team) program. Toronto is the first Canadian city to receive money through the program.
According to a report from CityLab, the goal is to help cities establish an innovation team dedicated to tackling city problems through data analysis and collaborations with residents. For example, an i-team helped the city of Syracuse, New York test a system that predicts breaks in water pipes.
This is Bloomberg’s third round of funding, and cities can get up to $500,000 in annual grants over the next three years. As of late, Toronto has been turning to startups to become a smarter city, including partnering with Kitchener-based Miovision, and creating a role for advocate for the innovation economy.
“We’re emerging as a global centre of innovation, with a tech sector that is scaling up, and we’re home to a lot of the leading minds in AI and design thinking,” Siri Agrell, director of strategic initiatives at Toronto mayor John Tory’s office, told CityLab. “I think it’s time for our city government to catch up to where our city is.”