The City of Bloomington is planning to join MetroLab Network, a consortium that supports partnerships between cities and the universities in their community to boost civic innovation.
Devta (pronounced DAVE-tuh) Kidd, the city's Innovation Director, announced the plans at the City Council's June 12 meeting as part of a broader presentation on her work. MetroLab's goal "is to help cities establish formal relationships with their local university to treat the city as a living laboratory and leverage the braintrust of the university, especially in research, for those really big, thorny issues that we encounter," Kidd said.
The application process requires a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mayor John Hamilton and either Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, Provost Lauren Robel or Vice President for Research Fred Cate.
Currently, South Bend is the only Indiana city that's a MetroLab member, partnering with the University of Notre Dame. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wrote about the partnership in his book, "Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model." He also gave the keynote at MetroLab's 2017 annual summit, describing a project that put "smart sensors" into the city's sewer system.
Check out MetroLab Network's website to learn more about this effort, including a list of members and projects.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy