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White House Names i-GATE Innovation Hub CEO “Champion of Change”

Program recognizes 13 local government officials from across US for innovative efforts.

September 25, 2012

Livermore, CA - September 25, 2012: Today, the White House will welcome 13 Local Innovation Champions of Change who have committed themselves to creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship. Whether making local government information and public data more accessible; creating local environments to encourage and support entrepreneurs; or developing workforce programs to provide residents with skills for the high-tech economy, these champions of change work tirelessly to build a better future for the citizens they serve, create jobs in their community, and ensure more efficient and effective government.

Rob White, the i-GATE Innovation Hub (iHub) CEO and City of Livermore Director of Economic Development, was nominated by Mayor John Marchand for his leadership as a co-founder of the i-GATE iHub Initiative, a broad super-regional partnership that is focused on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories/CA as economic engines.

White is engaged in researching, assessing, and developing the ecosystem for regional innovation networks. Recognized by regional, federal and international organizations, White has been acknowledged as a thought leader in local government-led collaborative networks, public policy assessment in support of entrepreneurship, and economic development frameworks that focus on technology growth and innovation.

“Over the last 30-months, the i-GATE efforts have created a proactive, two-way link between national laboratories and entrepreneurs, industry, innovation networks, venture capital firms, universities, business support services, and economic development resources,” said White. “These have helped to accelerate the commercialization of innovative energy technologies and grow a cohesive innovation ecosystem”.

“I am constantly inspired by the hard work of the women and men who serve their country by working in government,” said Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Government Officer. “Entrepreneurs at the local and state level are leading the way with so many innovative solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing America today. As I work to make the President’s innovation agenda a reality, I look forward to even more projects such as the ones honored today, so we can truly out innovate the rest of the world.”

As a result of their efforts, citizens across the country have access to a more transparent government, more opportunities for participation in the activities of their city or county, and tools that catalyze new types of collaboration between the public, private, non-profit, and citizen sectors of the local community.

These leaders showcase the amazing movement of innovation in government across America. In addition to celebrating success, the Champions of Change event provides a great opportunity to share innovative city government products, services, and business models with other cities and discuss how to scale these innovations to others, challenging all cities across the nation to similar levels of improvement.

The recognition includes an award ceremony, brief presentations by each awardee, and a panel discussion on the future of local innovation today at 1:00 p.m. EST at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building and will be streamed on for later viewing.

The other 12 local government officials being recognized today include:
• Phil Bertolini, CIO and deputy county executive, Oakland County, Mich.
• Mary Bunting, city manager, Hampton, Va.
• Adel Ebeid, chief innovation officer, Philadelphia
• Michael Flowers, analytics director, New York City
• Carolyn Hogg, CIO, Fresno, Calif.
Michele Hovet, deputy city manager, Arvada, Colo.
Nigel Jacob and Chris Osgood, co-chairs, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston
• Doug Matthews, chief communications director, Austin, Texas
• Jay Nath, chief innovation officer, San Francisco
John Tolva, CTO, Chicago
• Ted Smith, chief of economic growth & innovation, Louisville Metro Government, Kentucky

Mayor Marchand recognized White for his work in aiding to “bring a new focus on the region as a center of innovation and research and helped to significantly increase awareness of the LVOC and two national labs as opportunity drivers in supporting a technology-driven economy across the entire i-GATE region”.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as a Champion of Change. From this recognition, I hope all local government employees are reminded that the public sector, too, can be entrepreneurial, have a positive impact and contribution to economic and business ecosystems, and can create change that propels our nation’s efforts on the forefront of innovation,” said White.

The i-GATE iHub Initiative has garnered additional awards over the last year. In September 2011, i-GATE was recognized by the International Economic Development Council with its “Partnership Award for Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration.” In April 2012, i-GATE received the Alliance for Innovation’s top national award, the “Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government”. i-GATE was also selected a presenter at the conference. And in August 2012, the Federal Laboratory Consortium Far West Region recognized i-GATE with the “Outstanding Partnership” Award.

With over two decades of cross-sector experience, White is engaged in researching, assessing, and developing the ecosystem for regional innovation networks and is currently a candidate for the Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. Recognized by regional, federal and international organizations, Rob has been acknowledged as a thought leader in local government-led collaborative networks, public policy assessment in support of entrepreneurship, and economic development frameworks that focus on technology growth and innovation.

About the i-GATE Innovation Hub Initiative
The i-GATE iHub Initiative is a public-private regional partnership of eleven local governments, two national laboratories, universities, research institutions, and over thirty additional venture capital, angel investor, economic development, and industry partners. As a State of California designated Innovation Hub, and part of the iHub network that is part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-BIZ), i-GATE supports the growth of new technology companies and creation of jobs in clean energy, green transportation, and high performance computing.

The i-GATE program facilitates increased access and collaboration with the national labs for business partners and is helping to accelerate the flow of clean technologies from the Labs to the marketplace. The i-GATE NEST incubator program looks for small companies working with advanced transportation or renewable energy technologies that can leverage technical assistance or connectivity with Sandia National Labs or Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory user facilities, R&D programs, or technology transfer.

After its first year of operation, i-GATE has assisted 10 client companies that have created a more than 150 direct and indirect jobs in the i-GATE region as a result of these efforts. Clients range from fuel cell and battery companies (Kalp-Tree Energy) to ultra-light commuter rail (Cybertran - automation licensed from Idaho National Laboratories) and solid-state energy harvesters (PowerPrism and Ultracell). i-GATE has facilitated numerous academic technology partnerships, including University of Oklahoma fellows assessing a technology commercialization strategy this summer with the LLNL Industrial Partnerships Office and an University of California-Davis Graduate School of Management student team working on go-to-market plans with one of i-GATE’s fuel cell companies.

i-GATE also hosts a variety of community-building seminars and events, such as the “Get to Know Your Labs” series that most recently held at the opening of the Cyber security Technologies Research Laboratory (CTRL) facility at SNL, the Ultra Light Rail Transit Symposium held in Davis in August, and the Manufacturing Expo to be held in Brentwood on September 26th..

About the White House Local Innovators “Champions of Change” The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

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