RALEIGH – When the Raleigh City Council approved the fiscal year 2022 budget earlier this year, it approved a newly formed Office of Strategy and Innovation.

“By creating a distinct Office to support Strategy and Innovation, the City is demonstrating its strong commitment to innovation,” said Evan Raleigh, assistant city manager of the City of Raleigh, in a statement shared with WRAL TechWire.  “This Office will be entrusted with the challenge of aligning the City’s strategic approach to its support of innovation and new ideas.”

Now, the City of Raleigh is hiring a leader for that office, one of two hires anticipated to occur during the fiscal year, according to the approved budget.

And, this week, city officials launched an effort aimed at soliciting feedback from Raleigh residents about its innovation strategy and the perception of innovation in Raleigh.

According to a spokesperson for the City of Raleigh, the electronic survey will ask community members about past initiatives and about future potential initiatives when it comes to innovation.

The Citywill also partner with Innovate Raleigh to collect additional information and feedback, the spokesperson said.  The annual Innovate Raleigh summit will occur in October.  The organization’s now former executive director Bridget Harrington resigned in August.  According to a statement issued by the City of Raleigh, the city will also host a roundtable discussion.

The feedback from the survey and the discussion will inform the strategic priorities of the newly created office, which will launch in 2022, the City of Raleigh said in a statement.

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Here are the stated objectives and details for the newly created office, from the City of Raleigh budget:

“The Office of Strategy and Innovation is being established to boldly reshape strategy, support ongoing cycles of continuous improvement for greater service delivery by collecting and connecting talent to spark new ideas. The Office will lead citywide strategy and transformative projects like Bloomberg Challenges, Big Ideas, and Smart Cities initiatives. It will also perform legislative and policy analysis, map the organization’s vision and values in a way that creates innovative solutions. This new office will be staffed by the addition of two (2) new full-time employees.”

According to the budget, two additional current full-time employees will transfer in the middle of the fiscal year and join the Office of Strategy and Innovation, for a total staff of four employees in the newly created office.  The office will report directly to the City of Raleigh city manager, the budget states.

The budget for the office is $397,474, with $134,503 allocated for operating expenditures and the remainder allocated for salaries and benefits, according to the budget.