True innovation isn’t easy, and the research that leads to it can be expensive, with a lot of failures for each success. Historically, the U.S. federal government has proven to a fertile ground for innovation, with NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Energy and its national labs and the National Institutes of Health in the forefront. Meanwhile, private-sector ventures such as Bell Labs added to the mix. 

In recent years, that federal focus on innovation might have cooled somewhat. The American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council, better known as ACT-IAC, created the Institute for Innovation 12 years ago to foster more conversations around innovation. Now the Institute is rebooting itself, as things have changed. 

James Cook, ACT-IAC’s Strategy and Engagement Executive and the chair of the Institute, recently sat down with me for a conversation on why the organization is changing and what that means for government and industry. I am proud to represent CGI on the Institute’s board of directors, and appreciated the time Jim took to share his perspective with CGI. 

To listen to the full conversation click here

“The Institute was created as a place to bring government and innovators from industry and academia together to talk about how to build a culture of innovation,” he told me. “The government's in a very different place today. There's innovation. Not just pockets of innovation, but a critical mass of innovation all across the federal government.”

To help agencies channel this innovation, to break down barriers and to make connections between federal innovators and their counterparts in other organizations, the Institute is expanding its array of initiatives.