The City of Austin and the Austin Technology Council (ATC) have joined forces to create the first partnership between the government and technology industry, designed to study and strengthen the field of technology in order to propel the economy, shape public policy, enhance jobs, and rationalize taxes. The Austin Technology Partnership (ATP) is joining city leadership, regional stakeholders, and the technology industry together with the purpose of impacting the entire community.
The first of its kind public-private investment in the country will work with a total annual public-private investment of $775,000, comprised of a private contribution equal to 62 percent of the budget, and a public contribution of 38 percent. The project will seek to make an impact on job growth and development in the region in order to provide all Austin residents access to technology. “Austin’s at a tipping point,” stated Austin City Council Member and ATP sponsor Mike Martinez. “It’s time to leverage today’s strengths to ensure that the next generation of Austinites have the same, or greater, opportunities as many of us do today.
“The Austin Technology Partnership will lay the groundwork for training local talent for stable, high-paying jobs while supporting the City’s efforts to implement effective economic policies, streamline public investment, and save tax payer dollars,” Martinez added.
The ATP will work based on four priorities: first, developing and showcasing talent, in order to bring together creators with educators and workers. Capital is also a priority, with the purpose of increasing access to later stage capital and support the high-growth companies of the region with a particular emphasis of the life sciences, a priority sector that can support a strong ecosystem. Lastly, market development is expected to help both research and stakeholder education foster shared perspectives and sustained growth.
“Data is as important to the modern public sector as it is to the private,” explained the Austin City Council Member, Chris Riley. “The ATP offers a practical way to make the most of the opportunities before us: focus on data collection to benchmark strategic priorities, while establishing public-private interest in sustaining the benefits that innovation and tech bring to all Austinites.”
Therefore, over the next 12 months, the ATP will focus on collecting, analyzing, and reporting data in order to create a shared knowledge about its four priorities. Working with data is meant to synchronize the tech community, the regional talent, and capital resources to enhance the innovation economy. It will serve as a resource to city leadership, regional stakeholders, and everyone willing to pursue this goal.
“Industry and City leaders spent the better part of two years developing a strategic set of shared priorities,” explained the ATC President and CEO, Julie Huls. “Austin is the only tech market in the U.S. to galvanize industry support to partner with a municipality to grow a stronger regional economy. We’re certain this new path will lead us to more efficient and more effective investment of regional resources to support our innovation-based economy. This partnership will allow ATC to serve our members and our market at a level unparalleled in the U.S.”
The Executive Director of San Francisco-based Engine Advocacy, Julie Samuels, also believes that the partnership between ATC and the City of Austin “is a new model that places Austin at the forefront of a global discussion,” adding that engine works around the country to forge stronger ties between innovators and policymakers.