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New Wake County program aims to prevent government roadblocks, launch innovation

Posted 8:48 p.m. Friday
Updated 11:51 p.m. Friday

— A new project is aiming to change how the Wake County government operates.

The program, Wake Innovates, searches for roadblocks and challenges that affect productivity.

The center has been open for one month and costed $30,000 to launch. There are currently five employees. They have all worked with the county previously.

Chief Information and Innovation Officer Bill Greeves is leading the project.

"We wanted to have a place where we could try out new idea," Greeves said. "It's a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun."

The "Thinkubator" is a lab and workspace to talk over new ideas and elevate the way government operates.

"It's all with the focus of improving service and reducing cost," Greeves said.

From the lab's newly created offices, you can see across Wake County. It represents the idea that good ideas can come from anywhere.

"How do we unleash the creativity of our workforce," Greeves said. "They are on the front lines, and they see what can be approved upon."

Sig Hutchinson, the Wake County Commission chair, said he has wanted an innovation center like this one for years.

"This is brand new in terms of what counties are doing," Hutchison said. "This is going on right now in Wake County. They are fine-tuning the machine over there."

Greeves said some ideas will be winners, others losers. But he said it's better to make a mistake in a lab than to waste time and money across the county.

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