San Francisco Opens Superpublic Innovation Lab

Federal technologists, change makers and academics joined the city of San Francisco (CA) in a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 14 for Superpublic, San Francisco’s new innovation lab. The venture is a first for the city as its work commands support and talent from regional, state and federal organizations in addition to academic and private-sector contributions.

The General Services Administration (GSA) — which manages 375 million square feet of federal property — has offered the lab a 5,000-square-foot operating space in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown and support from its digital consultancy 18F, housed in the same building, which works to guide government to build, buy and share modern technology. Other partners include UC Berkeley, the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, the MIT Media Lab, Microsoft and Deloitte. The lab’s supporting nonprofits include the City Innovate Foundation and the Local Government Commission, both with missions to drive urban innovation efforts. The lab will be mutually beneficial for the GSA. Denise Turner Roth, the GSA’s administrator, described Superpublic as a new testing ground to expand 18F’s footprint and impact in cities nationwide. Since it was founded in 2014, the group has grown to support a number of innovation projects in federal agencies. This has dispatched its team of engineers, designers and procurement specialists to develop and rework a bevy of digital tools and IT buying strategies that now can be applied more locally.


San Francisco Opens Superpublic Innovation Lab