Open Data Policy Lab:
City Incubator 

Reimagining institutions, investing in
innovators, prioritizing data infrastructure

Today, 56% of the global population lives in cities. This number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Our city governments are the stewards of valuable data, data systems and data policies. How might we better equip our cities to solve problems with data?

Cit•y In•cu•ba•tor


A program that helps public intrapreneurs within cities around the world to develop their data innovation ideas into reality by providing dedicated support across a 6 month period.

"I love the mission of the incubator. If this program could formalize a way for municipal innovators to overcome bureaucratic inertia, it would be a global game changer."

- Naysan Saran, Co-founder and CEO CANN Forecast




Data Innovations




Different Countries

Millions of residents' lives improved

2021-2022 Timeline

July 21st
Application Opens

August 6th
Early applications deadline for feedback

August 13th
Open Data Policy Lab team will provide feedback to early deadline applicants

August 31st
Final application deadline

September 13th
Announcement of program participants

September 20th
Programming begins

March 20th
Program Concludes

Are you a data intraprenuer working in city government?

Do you want to make lasting change in your city?

Can you imagine new ways to drive impact with data?

Join a first-of-its kind international public sector incubator for diverse data innovation initiatives

Become part of an international community of data innovators who will engage in monthly knowledge exchanges

Learn best practices and receive feedback as you launch your data innovation initiative

Gain access to resources from the City Incubator's partners and to experts in data strategy, innovation, public service and intrapreneurship from the Council of Mentors

Engage in an opportunity to share your work and ideas publicly and with leaders in the field of civic innovation

Application Process

Apply by August 6th and the City Incubator Team will review and provide feedback on your application if you desire. All final applications are due by August 31st. All applications require:

If you have questions, please consult the FAQs at the bottom of this site. If after reading the FAQs you have additional questions, contact [email protected]. All answers to questions sent via email will be added to the FAQ as a resource for all interested program participants.

Webinar Series

A series of three webinars will be offered to help guide interested applicants through the application process and development of their data innovation for submission. All webinars will be recorded and available on this site if you are unable to join the live event. Detailed webinar dates and sessions coming soon


We are excited to partner with a variety of individuals and organizations around the world eager to collaborate in helping public innovators in cities to advance responsible data innovation initiatives. If you're interested in exploring way to support the City Incubator, email: [email protected]

Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to acheive more.

City Possible is a partnership model pioneered by Mastercard that helps cities develop shareable solutions to common problems that advance inclusive and sustainable urban development. Through City Possible, we’re helping unlock more possibilities for people and businesses by helping city leaders connect communities with integrated city services. City Incubator participants will have access to the suite of apps, tools and services available through the City Insights digital marketplace.

Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies

New York University’s Center for Urban Science And Progress (CUSP) is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the service of urban communities across the globe.

PSN is a social learning platform for the Public Sector. We connect public sector professionals around the world, to share information and learn through examples from other government organisations, while building a strong sense of community with our members.

Council of Mentors

Our Council of Mentors are experts from around the world in domains such as product management, performance management, data program development, data strategy, intrapreneurship and public sector problem solving. Mentors will be available to program participants throughout their six months with the City Incubator. This is our preliminary group of mentors; recruitment of additional mentors is taking place over the summer.

Frequently Asked Questions

If after reading the FAQs you have additional questions please contact [email protected]. All answers to questions sent via email will be added to the FAQ as a resource for all interested program participants.

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