Second Quarterly Winners of Government Innovation Grant Awards (GIGa) Announced
November 30, 2011 - The School of Government announces the second quarterly winners of the technology-based innovation awards program, Government Innovation Grant Awards (GIGa). The program, a partnership among the School, Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), and North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA), is designed to spur and reward technology-based innovation by offering incentives to North Carolina local governments engaged in innovative, replicable endeavors that help improve citizen services.
City of Conover: Connect2Conover
The City of Conover is being recognized for its Connect2Conover project, a mobile, web-based citizen information system that is accessible via any mobile device with web access. The project offers citizens a convenient way to interact with the city by providing direct access to information from the city and the ability to report an issue to the city with the convenience of a handheld device. Citizens will be able to request debris removal, report an issue or crime, and provide feedback directly to their government. “Since mobile devices are always on and always within reach,” says Conover IT Director Christopher Niver, “mobile applications and portals can be developed to provide instant information to the users, such as providing warnings during emergency situations.” Connect2Conover is currently in test phase and will be available to the public within the next few months.
Durham County: Computers for Kids
Durham County is being recognized for its Computers for Kids project, which provides refurbished computers to students who are excelling in school but are in need of a computer at home. This idea, which stemmed from the County’s investigation into the best way to dispose of the government’s old computers when they are upgraded, has resulted in a partnership among several area agencies. Durham County IT Department collects the out-of-service computers and ensures that all county data is removed. The computers are delivered to Triangle United Way, where they are cleaned, repaired as needed, and loaded with basic software. The Durham County Department of Social Services (DSS), working with Durham County Public Schools, identifies the students who will receive the computers. According to Durham County Desktop Support Manager Aaron Stone, “This program furthers the county’s goals of providing valued services to the community and its citizens, supporting the public schools, implementing recycling and green solutions, and it is an excellent example of cooperation and collaboration.”
Third Quarter Application Deadline: February 15, 2012
North Carolina local governments and K-12 school districts (LEAs) may submit applications for quarterly GIGa awards; the next deadline is February 15. Apply online at www.cpt.unc.edu/giga.html. All quarterly applicants are automatically eligible for annual awards of $10,000 (one award) or $2,500 (two awards).
GIGa Awards and Innovation Luncheon: January 27, 2012
Annual awards will be announced at the first annual GIGa Awards and Innovation Luncheon to be held on January 27, 2012, in Raleigh. Keynote speaker will be Dan Heath, Senior Fellow, Duke University Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. The event will also provide a showcase of all projects submitted during 2011, and demonstrations of promising practices in the field. For more information about the banquet, visit www.cpt.unc.edu/giga.html.
The quarterly submissions will also be featured in an annual University of North Carolina e-publication, State of the State of Technology, which will include promising technology practices for local governments to model and implement.
“The projects submitted for GIGa awards have been impressive,” says School of Government Dean Mike Smith. “It is exciting to see the innovations that local government information technology leaders are putting into place to improve public services for North Carolinians.”