We believe that data- and technology-oriented research and innovation will lead to more effective, targeted, adaptive, and creative government and community services, improving social services, mobility options, urban spaces, public health, and more. It will enable sustainability goals and climate resilience. It will foster trust in government, train the next generation of the public workforce, and cultivate a civic-minded public. It will enable responsible and transparent applications of data and technology in government.

MetroLab was launched jointly by 40 mayors and university leaders as part of the White House Smart Cities Initiative in 2015.

To read more about our new membership model and strategic approach, see the 2022 State of the Lab.


Building Partnerships


We cultivate partnerships between universities and local governments to drive research-informed, evidence-based policy and enable data and technology transformation.

Multidisciplinary Research


We foster a peer network of stakeholders from academia and local government that constitute an applied, interdisciplinary field of research and practice.

Innovation Ecosystem


We connect to an ecosystem of federal, philanthropic, and civic partners with a shared interest in the promise of civic research and innovation.


Annual Summit

The MetroLab Summit brings together a leading community of academics and practitioners from across the civic ecosystem that is leveraging technology, analytics, and innovation to address a range of priorities, from urban planning, to data privacy, to sustainability, to social service delivery. Read more>>

Civic Innovation Challenge

MetroLab is partnering with the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies to launch a multi-million dollar “research and action” competition in the smart and connected communities domain, with a focus on pressing public sector priorities. Read more>>

Innovation of the Month

MetroLab Network has partnered with Government Technology to bring its readers a segment called the MetroLab Innovation of the Month Series, which highlights impactful tech, data, and innovation projects underway between cities and universities. Read more>>

Project Library

MetroLab Network facilitates information-sharing and member-to-member communications that enable the dissemination and replication of projects and partnership structures.  MetroLab maintains a member site and a project library which facilitate member collaboration across hundreds of university/government joint projects. Read more>>

Thought Leadership

MetroLab leverages its network and creates opportunities for members to highlight their projects and perspectives in reports that address high-priority areas.  Past reports have focused on predictive analytics in human services, technology for data integration, and an exploration of civic innovation activities across the U.S. Read more>>