Hillsboro, OR

United States


Steve Callaway


103,350 (2018)

Lead Innovation Officer

Steve Pleasant

Innovation is helping to:
  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Hillsboro, OR

The Hillsboro Office of Innovation compensates for its small team and limited funding resources with an annual project called the Eureka Challenge, which engages various departments through policy deep-dives and short-term innovation projects. Staff from multiple city agencies take a 30-day leave from their usual posts to form a team that focuses on a specific issue identified by the City Manager. A year after one Eureka team convened to reduce the city’s water consumption, Hillsboro managed to lower its water expenses by $70,000.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Hillsboro, OR does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to more than half of cities surveyed, Hillsboro, OR approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Hillsboro, OR is focused on

Digital governance
Emergency preparedness

Digital governance: Hillsboro's innovation team developed data privacy principles, which was adopted by City Council, to inform the development of a data privacy program in the organization.

Emergency preparedness: The team also worked to evaluate the best approaches from a policy and municipal fuel reserve/fuel management perspective to deal with a potential fuel supply disruption in the event of an emergency, such as the Cascadia earthquake.

Policy areas by number of cities

Hillsboro, OR utilizes 2 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Manager’s office, Hillsboro’s dedicated innovation team consists of 2 staff.

Terms Hillsboro, OR most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Human-centered design

Hillsboro, OR's most common innovation activities

Facilitating organizational change within the municipality
e.g. silo-busting; new internal performance management; staff training and capacity building on innovation tools or techniques; reforms to contracting or procurement
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 19% of cities surveyed, Hillsboro, OR does not have dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Hillsboro, OR has no reported sources of funding.

Activities being funded

Hillsboro, OR does not fund any specific activities.

47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

How is innovation measured?

Hillsboro has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies and city residents/resident associations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with local businesses to help inform their Smart City strategy, transportation policies, etc.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development



Policing and law enforcement

Government finance

Labour market and skills

Social welfare/social services

Social inclusion and equity

Public works

Land use

Built environment

Digital governance



Environment and climate change

Insufficient data


No Response

Waste and sewage