NC Innovation Center Honored by National Tech Leaders

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina’s Innovation Center (iCenter) was named a State IT Program of the Year 2015 by State Scoop, a national publication that features leaders and innovators in government technology.  More than 10,000 members of the IT community across the country voted in the online competition. The iCenter is a “try before you buy” working lab where technology is tested before the state commits to investing in it.

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“The iCenter has been a catalyst for change in the culture of state government," said Governor McCrory.  “We’re applying common sense business principles and investing our IT dollars more wisely by testing technology to make sure it will deliver as promised.”

State Scoop presented the award to North Carolina’s State Chief Information Officer, Chris Estes, at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ (NASCIO) conference in Virginia on Monday.  Estes is a member of NASCIO’s Executive Committee and Chair of its National Innovation Community. The Community grew out of iCenter’s success and includes leaders from all 50 states who are dedicated to cultivating innovation in government IT.

“The iCenter is a valuable proving ground for technology solutions,” said Estes. “Collaboration between state IT professionals, STEM students and private industry allows us to identify the best technology solutions at the best value to the state. Agencies are making better purchasing decisions as a result because they know the technology they’re buying will meet their needs.”

The North Carolina Innovation Center (iCenter) was also recognized as a 2015 “Bright Idea” by the Ash Center at Harvard University earlier this year. The Bright Ideas program recognizes creative initiatives that are at the forefront of government innovation.

Since the Innovation Center opened in 2013, more than $6M worth of technology has been evaluated at no cost to the state, including digital and mobile solutions intended to make government more customer-friendly for the citizens it serves.