I am delighted to be spending the next six months at the Smithsonian Institution as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. The program was created in 2012 by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) to place experienced industry innovators inside the government to help streamline government, stimulate the economy and provide more opportunity for our citizens. Two weeks ago, I started as part of “round 2,” designed to build on the success of last year’s program.
The Smithsonian is one of several agencies sponsoring Presidential Innovation Fellows in support of “Open Data” projects. In May, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Open Data Policy to make information generated and stored by the Federal Government more open and accessible, with the goals of increasing government transparency and efficiency and fueling entrepreneurship and economic growth.
At the Smithsonian, I will be one of three Presidential Innovation Fellows working on several initiatives to strengthen the Institution’s digital enterprise, including:
- building a crowdsourcing platform to enlist Digital Volunteers in the work of digitizing collections and conducting research;
- identifying possible new technologies to speed up the collections digitization process; and
- improving the tools the Smithsonian offers the public to search and use its digital content.