Those who know of Google likely know in one way or another of the Google X Innovation Lab — a place where inventions like driverless cars, Google Glass and project Loon, a program to deliver cell connectivity by way of high-altitude balloons, were born. And now, the Silicon Valley giant plans to apply this kind of inventive thinking to the public sector, through its Google Government Innovation Lab.
The undertaking points a team of leaders and innovators at a specific government challenge, and equips them with 25 Google Chromebooks, as well as access to Google’s suite of government apps and enterprise mapping services.
The lab concept, revealed at Google’s headquarters in a meeting with California officials on Jan. 8, is designed to be entirely mobile, said James Waterman, Google’s regional manager for state and local government. There are no brick-and-mortar buildings required, and Google doesn’t assign its government app licenses to specific individuals. Rather, access is awarded based on duties. Likewise, with Chromebooks designed to keep data in the cloud, there’s no chance information can be isolated to one user.