Our Philosophy

What is MetroLab?

MetroLab Network is a non-profit that drives positive impact in communities by empowering collaboration between two critical public institutions: local government and universities. We believe science and research can live and flourish in cities and their city halls – bringing innovation and solutions to the front door of communities. We believe transformative partnerships between these institutions are a necessary evolution to the innovation and scientific movement of tomorrow.  The challenges cities and counties face are complex, and to create transformative change we bring together an ecosystem of  research and doers. 

Our Mission:

MetroLab aims to forever change the relationship  between local governments and universities. This evolution brings an intentional, regular and impact-driven alignment, resulting in long-term impact. Our mission is to two-fold:


To put science in cities. 


Understand, support, and enable transformative partnerships between cities and universities. 


Why local government and university partnerships?

Universities and local governments have critical roles. Universities spearhead research and novel concepts while building the workforce of tomorrow. Cities and counties are the backbone of our every day,  providing essential services and growing ecosystems as the laboratory of innovation. MetroLab serves as an intermediary to ensure that these efforts are synergistic and not happening in isolation. We provide cities with the trusted capacity to realize and build science and innovation within their communities, while researchers rely on MetroLab to move basic research into an applied setting.

What we do

MetroLab is an ecosystem of researchers and innovative local government leaders who want to work collaboratively. 


MetroLab manages programs to discover, implement, and scale innovative solutions and new thinking.


MetroLab collaborates with local  communities at a scale that then informs national policy. 


MetroLab empowers meaningful partnerships, making civic research actionable, and brings capacity (of all types) to cities and counties.


MetroLab studies the constraints between local governments and universities, understanding and proactively managing paths forward to successfully working together and resulting in measurable outcomes.


Our Members and Affiliates 

MetroLab manages a membership and affiliate network made of local governments, universities and colleges, metropolitan planning organizations and transit authorities. These institutions across the country are joining our  organization to:  1) get connected to peers working on innovation collaboratively; 2) understand better federal priorities and funding opportunities; 3) amplify their work (research, successful projects, etc); and 4) connect students to opportunities.  


MetroLab individually meets with each member institution to understand their latest work and understand local context, progress, and needs. Members are a vital part of how we stay informed with emerging practices. But maybe most importantly, they are the channel in which we work directly to understand the art of the partnership itself.

Moving Forward

Our mission is a big one. As we work with our partners to bring positive change to communities, it’s critical to ensure community engagement and equity are at its center during the entire process.


What does impact in communities look like?


It’s equitable and inclusive.


It’s local and meets the needs of residents. 


It’s forward thinking and innovative.


As an organization, we are committed to following principles that uplift the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and support BIPOC work and scholarship. We stand firm in our resolve to our principles of race and social justice, and continue our commitment to identify partners with expertise of all kinds and support our partners’ projects that reflect on-the-ground priorities in cities and communities.


MetroLab is a network and more. We aim to be a catalyst for impact and change forever the relationship between two critical institutions: our cities and our universities. We hope you’ll join us in this mission.