The STIR Labs program has unveiled the research challenges that its inaugural cohort will tackle, the group announced this week in a press release.

These challenges are paired with the government participants, and the list of California governmental organizations’ challenge areas is as follows:

  • Child care: San Jose
  • Climate change: Costa Mesa
  • Digital divide: San Leandro
  • Economic innovation: Sacramento
  • Housing: Association of Bay Area Governments/Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Mobility: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
  • Public safety: West Sacramento

(The full list of participating U.S. cities’ challenges can be found here.) 

The next phase in the development of this inaugural year for STIR Labs will be finding the university research participants to pair with the cities and challenges, which is in keeping with the mission of the program. STIR Labs works to pair local universities with government agencies in the service of applying academic expertise to community challenges, thereby improving government functions while giving researchers real-world situations to address. 

The application period for university researchers to apply for STIR Labs runs through Nov. 1. More information is available on the STIR Labs website. The program shares part of its name and its organizing body — City Innovate — with the original Startup in Residence Program, which essentially does the same thing STIR Labs does, instead pairing government entities with startup companies. 

In its website, STIR provides a by-the-numbers overview of its reach across the U.S.:

  • 86 startups have participated in STIR
  • More than 1,000 startups have applied to government challenges
  • 29 governments use STIR for procurement
  • 80 percent of partnerships result in a contract

A longer version of this article first appeared in Government Technology, Techwire’s sister publication.