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'Presidential Innovation Fellows' Seeks to Connect Public, Private Entrepreneurs to Deliver Data-Driven Results

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The Obama administration announced today the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, an initiative that aims to "pair top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, or academia with federal government employees to collaborate on game-changing solutions that aim to deliver significant business results in just six months." Through this program, selected teams will work together "in focused sprints" in Washington, DC, on five projects set to launch this summer. The projects cover an array of disciplines, though all aim to "improve the lives of the American people, [save] taxpayer money, and [fuel] job creation," the White House says in a statement.

One such project, called "Blue Button for America", aims to allow US citizens secure access to their own healthcare data through a simple text file. That file would include information such as current medications and drug allergies, claims and treatment data, and lab reports.

Another project, dubbed "Open Data Initiatives", intends to "liberate government data and voluntarily contributed corporate data to fuel entrepreneurship," the White House says.

In a post at the White House blog, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park says that the administration seeks "15 amazing innovators ... to work on these projects."

He adds that the administration would "also like to connect with folks who may not be able to come to DC to be a fellow," but who are still interested in the projects. "For example, entrepreneurs who are interested in learning more about government data resources that are becoming available and developing innovative products that make use of these data," Park says.

More information is available at the Presidential Innovation Fellows program website.

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