Oklahoma launches innovation initiative to boost its tech economy
Published: February 16, 2018
By bringing local talent into state offices, Oklahoma hopes to bolster a weak regional technology ecosystem and find new solutions to government challenges.
The State of Oklahoma is targeting its technology soft spots with the launch of an innovation program designed to modernize government, encourage civic engagement, and support new businesses in the local economy. This initiative, called Innovate Oklahoma, will be led by the State’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).
Oklahoma is regarded as leader in terms of nuts and bolts IT, but has struggled in the innovation department. A new website, innovate.ok.gov, provides an inlet for the public to share problems it would like the government to solve. Users can comment and vote on the proposals via social media, and teams with "top" ideas will be invited to collaborate with state government to develop solutions that can ultimately be purchased and implemented by the technology office. OCAST's role will be to help developers hone and market their products so other states and private companies can also take advantage of the work that comes out of the program.