April 11, 2019
Ignite Accelerator Announces 19 Teams Selected for the Eighth Round of the Internal Innovation Training and Incubator Program
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is pleased to announce the teams selected for the eighth round of the HHS IDEA Lab Ignite Accelerator program. The Ignite Accelerator Program stimulates innovative problem-solving across the Department by encouraging and enabling HHS employees at all levels to experiment, test, and validate solutions to key departmental challenges.
Launched in 2013, the Ignite Accelerator Program has been recognized as a model for empowering public sector innovators and has inspired similar programs within HHS operating divisions and across the federal government. Past cohorts successfully developed innovative solutions to a wide range of mission-critical problems. Some of these included projects like publishing National Institutes of Health’s open-source 3D printable models for biomedical science; improving wait times at Indian Health Service clinics; creating a more efficient grant analysis process using natural language processing; and using artificial intelligence to encourage smoking cessation.
“The Ignite Accelerator is a key component of our internal innovation efforts at HHS. By providing entrepreneurial staff with resources and guidance, this program directly supports agencies’ missions and improves services offered to the American people. I’m impressed with the ambitious ideas proposed by the Ignite teams this year, and look forward to seeing their results,” said Ed Simcox, HHS CTO.
The 19 newest Ignite teams represent the department’s various agencies and operating divisions with several projects aligning with the HHS secretary’s priorities such as addressing the opioid crisis and working towards value-based care.
Margeaux Akazawa, the director of HHS Ignite, notes “The current cohort not only highlights innovative ideas to some of the Department’s biggest challenges but also showcases the incredibly talented and creative employees at HHS.”
Ignite starts with a two-day Boot Camp at HHS Headquarters in Washington, DC, where teams receive training in design and entrepreneurial methods. After Boot Camp, the teams have three months to define their problem statement, test ideas with end-users, and rapidly prototype solutions. During this time, teams receive individualized coaching, mentorship support, and the permission to experiment. At the end of the program, Ignite teams pitch their idea directly to HHS leadership and the public at HHS Innovation Days.
The 19 teams for this round will be split into two cohorts: a Spring cohort that began on March 12th and a Summer cohort beginning in June. The selected teams for the eighth round of Ignite are as follows:
Learn more about Ignite and other programs through the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at https://www.hhs.gov/cto/index.html