September 16, 2009 By Chad Vander Veen
ESRI, the Redlands, Calif.-based GIS software company, has teamed up with GPS solutions provider Trimble to launch the 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program. Twenty state and local agencies will be awarded grants for work in hardware and software development as well as in training. The companies are offering a total of $90,000 for projects that demonstrate GIS as both a mission-critical technology as well as a mobile technology solution to enhance organizational efficiency.
The program, according to both companies, is designed to "foster innovative approaches to solving government problems through the combined use of GIS, GPS, mobile and server technology."
"We are offering these grants because mobile applications are such an important part of government operations today," said Christopher Thomas, government industry solutions manager for ESRI. "The applications our grant winners create will offer immediate solutions to governments facing similar challenges. Though only a limited number of grants will be awarded, an unlimited number of governments can benefit."
The program also requires grant applicants to develop their applications so that they can be shared among other agencies.
The 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program has been accepting applications since Sept. 8 and will continue to do so through Nov. 20. Winners are scheduled to be announced Dec. 18, 2009.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.