HHS launches internal innovation incubator

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new program, HHSignite, that will provide seed funding to ideas that spur innovation throughout the department.

The program was first announced last week by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during the latest HHSinnovates awards ceremony.

Launched in beta, the new initiative aims to support up to eight innovative concepts with budgets of up to $10,000 that can be completed in less than six months. Along with funding, Sivak said the HHSignite winners will get consultations from department leaders, introductions to agency entrepreneurs and interactions with top HHS innovators.

“HHSignite is about testing of new concepts to gain evidence for solutions to mission-related challenges,” said HHS Chief Technology Officer Bryan Sivak in a new blog post on the agency’s website.

“We’re looking for early steps of concepts entirely new to HHS that are directly related to supporting the Secretary’s priorities,” Sivak said. “Proposals could also go towards a process already underway but looking to take an unconventional next step.”

The program builds off the HHSinnovates, launched in May 2010, that recognizes innovative achievements within the department.

Sebelius discusses HHSignite here:

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Bryan Sivak, HHSignite, HHSinnovates, Kathleen Sebelius
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