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White House to Announce Presidential Innovation Fellows Thursday

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, August 21 2012

The White House will announce the participants in the inaugural Presidential Innovation Fellows program Thursday.

The goal of the initiative is to bring top innovators from outside government to work with innovators inside government "to create real and substantial changes that will in a very short time frame benefit the American people, save taxpayers money, and help create new jobs," according to a blog post from White House CTO Todd Park.

The fellows program is part of the White House's new digital government strategy, announced May 23. Since the announcement, 700 people have applied for the fellowship, Park wrote.

The fellows will work on five technology-focused government projects. The MyGov program will create a prototype of a streamlined online system for citizens to access information and services from across the federal government. Open Data initiatives is working on expanding and accelerating efforts to make government data more accessible in computer-readable format and encourage the use of such data by entrepreneurs. The 20% Initiative is a project aimed at completing the transition of international development assistance payments from cash to electronic methods. RFP-EZ will develop a new online marketplace that will make it easier for the government and tech startups to do business with each other. The Blue Button for America project is working on providing Americans with the ability to easily and securely download their health information electronically. All projects can be followed on Twitter.

The event will be livestreamed at 10 a.m. and will be accompanied by the hashtag #innovategov. Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeff Zients, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management John Berry, and U.S. Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel will also be present at the event. Todd Park will host a White House Office Hours session regarding the launch on Twitter at 5 p.m.