The Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) is the living embodiment of the Triple Helix model of economic innovation, where government, academia and industry collaborate to transform Sacramento into that of a “living laboratory” for entrepreneurs, advanced technology businesses, and academic institutions to test, develop, and scale their ideas, products, and services. By actively supporting technology development and demonstration throughout different districts in Sacramento, SUTL will help align current City efforts to grow Sacramento’s existing base of high-tech workers, business incubators, and early-stage technology businesses and encourage established technology firms and research partners to test new technologies in a live city environment.
SUTL uses physical technology testing grounds, industry-specific programming, and city-wide branding to achieve the following initiatives:
Collectively, these programs are being coordinated to maximize the benefits of the recent surge of interest and investment in the Capitol region’s “innovation economy.”
SUTL aims to bring awareness to current and future city initiatives as well as develop programming to support the growth of the following industry verticals in Sacramento:
SUTL activates each of Sacramento’s eight districts as “living laboratories” that are engaged as key assets for economic development. As part of SUTL, each district will develop an inventory of locations and/or an area within the district that can be utilized for retention, expansion, and attraction opportunity sites that allow companies and universities to scale their efforts in Sacramento, ranging from digitally connected infrastructure to business incubators to technology demonstration sites.
In addition to the discreet projects described above, SUTL will also function as a mechanism for promoting and leveraging existing city government projects that involve advanced technologies. As an example, SUTL’s strategies for the 5G deal with Verizon Wireless and the $44 million Green City initiative are working to ensure that the resulting programs bolster Sacramento’s long-term innovation capacity. Project alignment efforts such as these ensure that each department’s innovative technology projects support the broader goal of making Sacramento a global leader in advanced technology research and testing.
SUTL will allow local universities and community colleges to better market existing academic, research and workforce training strengths. As an early example of this university engagement, Sacramento State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has committed to identifying areas where the University can contribute to the workforce training needs for advanced technology industries within Sacramento. After chronicling existing education strengths, the Dean of ECS also offered to support the development of company-specific curriculum at Sacramento State. This model of connecting academic institutions to specialized workforce needs can be replicated with other institutions, including UC Davis, University of the Pacific, and local community colleges. By facilitating active partnerships between academic organizations and industry groups, SUTL will strengthen the Triple Helix model of economic innovation, an economic model dependent on the collaboration between industry, academic, and government voices.
As SUTL efforts mature, city departments and economic development partners will develop resources for industry partners to raise awareness of Sacramento’s strengths as an innovation center. These will include an inventory of geographic assets for technology testing, industry support programs, existing workforce training programs, curriculum development opportunities, and more to assist with company attraction and expansion.