California launches innovation contests to improve government operations

Photo: Architect of the Capitol
Photo: Architect of the Capitol

The state of California has launched a $25K Find a New Way innovation contest that gives residents a chance “to identify areas of improvement within the state government and share their untapped expertise to create solutions.”

Participating agencies include the Departments of General Services, Transportation and Alcoholic Beverage Control, and each will award up to $25,000 in prizes.

The impetus for the initiative is Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 2138 that created three innovation contests aimed at “eliminating or reducing state expenditures or improving operations, or for making exceptional contributions to the efficiency, economy, or other improvement in the operations of state government.”

Of particular interest is the DGS Green Gov Challenge, where participants will leverage open data to help improve government sustainability practices. The contest includes a Sacramento-based hackathon October 24-25 and coincides with a pilot launch of the state’s open data portal, led by California Government Operations Agency.

Learn more about the Green Gov Challenge and pre-register for the event.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


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