I’m very excited to update you about the implementation of a key part of our Open Government Plan – our new Secretary’s Innovation Awards program, HHSInnovates!

HHSInnovates is a new competition that we’ll be running twice per year here at HHS.  Its purpose is to identify and celebrate the top innovations in how HHS does business – innovations that have succeeded in improving our service to the American public, including breakthroughs in HHS transparency, public engagement, and collaboration across HHS and with the world outside HHS.

So, here’s a short status report on our maiden voyage of HHSInnovates. We launched the inaugural round ofHHSInnovates 6 weeks ago. Since then, over 126 submissions have come in from teams across HHS. Now, things are really getting interesting, as employees will be able to use Web 2.0 technology to vote and comment on those that they think are best – a process that kicked off this week! Based on employee voting and Secretary Sebelius’ selections, we will be announcing 3 winning submissions in about a month and will be promoting them as our leaders in HHS innovation. Talk about suspense!

As an added bonus, I recently had the opportunity to talk with Craig Newmark of Craig’s List, who is a maven for innovation in the federal workspace. Read what Craig’s got to say about our program by visiting his blog.

In early August, we’ll announce the three teams of winners – live and in person via the web – and launch an HHS Innovations Gallery to highlight these and other winning ideas at work for you! And I’ll be here to tell you more about the innovation breakthroughs on the day of the event. Stay tuned!

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