The Office of Performance and Innovation leads process improvement and innovation programs for the City of Durham by collaborating with staff, residents, local businesses, and other agencies to bring new ideas and improved practices into City government in efforts to bring about better outcomes for the organization and community.

Innovate Durham (Durham City-County)

Innovate Durham is a 16-week partnership program that turns the City of Durham and Durham County into a lab to test new ideas, products or services. Through the program participants (private businesses based in Durham) get access to staff, data and facilities to assist with making Durham more efficient and encourage a culture of innovation at the City and County. To learn more, visit the Innovate Durham webpage


IdeaStarter is an annual campaign for City employees to submit their innovative ideas to develop and test. In addition to learning innovation design principles and prototyping their ideas, employees build strong internal connections through the IdeaStarter cohort and alumni network. To learn more, visit the IdeaStarter webpage or contact Shannon Delaney

You can also read through past IdeaStarter projects and find answers to frequently asked questions about the IdeaStarter program

IdeaLab (Durham City-County)

IdeaLab is a joint venture with Durham County to provide a forum for employees to be exposed to innovation concepts, tools, and approaches. IdeaLab occurs every other month and due to COVID-19 the sessions have moved to a virtual format.

To learn more about IdeaLab, contact Shari Metcalfe.

Learn more about the City of Durham Innovation Team 

The City of Durham’s Innovation Team was established under a three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies (2017 - 2020). Our Innovation Team is now a part of the City’s Office of Performance and Innovation (OPI). To learn more about the Innovation Team’s previous work, please visit City of Durham Bloomberg-funded Innovation Team.