The White House on Thursday announced the first group of "Presidential Innovation Fellows" who will work on projects designed to leverage technology in areas like health care, small businesses, and electronic payments.
The 18 fellows were selected from a pool of nearly 700 applicants. They will have six months to work on any one of five "tough but tractable challenges" including securing health information downloads; reforming government efforts to do business with small companies; streamlining a system to give citizens access to government information; transitioning international development assistance payments from cash to electronic methods; and encourage the use of government data to create new products, services, and jobs.
"The Presidential Innovation Fellows program leverages the ingenuity of leading problem solvers from across America together with federal innovators to tackle projects that aim to fuel job creation, save taxpayers money and improve the lives of Americans in tangible ways," U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said in a statement "These private sector innovators bring their entrepreneurial expertise to the table that has helped jump-start high-tech companies, increase efficiency and public engagement, and redefine how technology is used in business."
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