Somerville Urban Lab: Test Your Brightest Ideas Here

  • About Somerville Urban Lab

  • View RFI / Submit

  • Q&A – Questions

In Somerville, we like to say that while others have innovation districts, we are the Innovation City. University and industry partnerships have been critical to establishing Somerville as a citywide incubator of smart, forward-looking ideas—whether within industry or good governance. That innovation and creativity is backed up by know-how and follow-through.

In October 2014, Somerville launched Somerville GreenTech to meet the City’s ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and released an RFI in an effort to both support this vital industry and to help the city reduce its contribution to climate change. We piloted two green technologies developed by local companies; WrightGrid and Understory.

We believe that the creativity needed to spur the economy of the future shouldn’t be confined to the lab or incubator but should take place on city streets and in public and private spaces, both benefiting and receiving benefits from urban life.

Through this effort, the City learned how difficult it is for innovators to find opportunities to test and gain support for the commercialization of their product. Because our goals overlap, the City of Somerville can help change this. The City is interested in learning from, piloting, and—when it’s the right tech for the right need—implementing technological innovations to better and effectively deliver in a range of areas. They include but are not limited to, housing, social equity, economic development, sustainability, arts, education, government innovation, smart city infrastructure, and public health. Likewise, we work daily to help our local businesses thrive and create jobs for our residents, and as part of this effort, we are also committed to facilitating pilots with Somerville businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions working in a vast array of fields and innovation areas including tech, biotech, healthcare, nonprofit services, mobility, net neutrality, and much more. Collaboration with emerging technologies will help us lead the way in finding paths to greater municipal sustainability, equity, and economic growth.

We believe that the creativity needed to spur the economy of the future shouldn’t be confined to the lab or incubator but should take place on city streets and in public and private spaces, both benefiting and receiving benefits from urban life.

Members of our community and region are developing innovative ways to solve the most challenging problems and the City wants to explore and pilot cutting-edge technologies in a real environment to support the quality of life our residents want,  need, and deserve. Collaborating with emerging technology companies and private entities will help us lead the way in becoming a true Innovation City; offering a more comprehensive approach by creating a public-private-people partnership.

Responses must be delivered by November 12, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST by submitting an electronic copy of your response materials through the form linked below.


We invite you to respond to this Request for Information
and be a part of our urban laboratory in Somerville.



For questions concerning the City of Somerville, please visit our website: www.SomervilleMA.gov. The City of Somerville dashboard contains data and information on our community which may be helpful to you in thinking about your company’s role in collaboration with the City. As we determine frequently asked questions, we will note these along with a response.

For questions regarding this solicitation, contact Sunayana Thomas, Senior Planner, at (617) 625-6600 x2561 or [email protected] before October 15, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Written responses will be posted on this page.