A Cutting-Edge City
The City of Frisco is known for its innovative ideas. It has a history of testing cutting-edge pilot programs from autonomous shuttles and personal delivery devices to, most recently, robots and drone delivery services.
The City of Frisco is even innovative enough to have its own Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Jason Cooley.
The idea for this position first began when Deputy City Manager Henry Hill (now Interim City Manager) and Dr. Cooley attended a smart cities conference. They saw first-hand that Frisco was already implementing many of the forward-thinking projects and practices that other progressive cities were still only considering. In many cases, Frisco had been doing the same things at a larger scale or longer.
Hill observed that it made sense to have a Chief Innovation Officer who can stay on top of innovation, constantly look at the horizon, and be the primary contact for innovative ideas.
Proven Track Record
Dr. Cooley’s noted that the number of pilot program requests has increased because the City of Frisco has a proven track record and willingness to pilot new technologies. Cooley is quick to point out that the city is selective and does not accept all projects. A pilot program has to fit the city’s profile and potentially make the city more efficient or productive while aligning with Frisco’s culture. “It has to really fall in line with those criteria before we will discuss taking on the project,” shared Cooley.
Frisco’s innovative culture is not just about the latest gadgets but also process improvements and program management. “We like to look at the city as an innovation lab,” shared Dr. Cooley. The City of Frisco adopts innovation in all areas of operations, always looking to be more efficient and continually improve.
Dr. Cooley also works closely with Jason Ford, President of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and his staff, including Jasmin Brand, the Director of Innovation at the EDC.
“The Frisco EDC is looking at not only how can we have this innovation on the city’s operations side, but also use it to attract more businesses. We feel like the next wave of companies will be in the innovation space, whether web-based, apps or anything of that nature. Having this environment where we embrace technology and innovation can only help us with business retention and attraction.”
With drone technology being the next big thing in Frisco, if you look up in the sky and wonder, is it a plane? Is it a bird? Take note, most likely, it is one of Frisco’s newest pilot programs!
Innovation is such an important topic in Frisco that the Frisco Chamber of Commerce created a luncheon and panel discussion around the topic! On September 23, 2022, Cooley and Brand will serve as panelists, along with panelists from the private sector to discuss innovation in Frisco.
The event is sure to be a sell-out! We hope to see you there as we continue this conversation.