MetroLab Network

A platform for applied research projects between cities and universities

Partners in the Greater Kansas City network

Total city-university partnerships

Active projects in the Greater Kansas City portfolio

Cities and university researchers working together

The MetroLab Network is a consortium of 35 city-university partnerships across the US that fosters collaboration between local governments and academic researchers and practitioners. As city and county governments continue their efforts to be responsive to trends in emerging technology—devices, networks, data, and more—they are continually looking for additional resources and partners to keep up. Universities offer a home not only to forward-looking researchers with specialized domain knowledge, they also host students and faculty interested to apply their ideas and develop their skills in a real-world context. Our local MetroLab partnership offers a vehicle to identify project opportunities for city-university collaboration and to share learning with peers across the country.

This partnership is formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding that lays out basic obligations of participating members.

  • Designate an individual as MetroLab Network lead and point person for communication
  • Commitment to identifying problems, capacity, and expertise that might benefit partners
  • Agreement to meet regularly to discuss, identify, and pursue opportunities
  • Openness to collaboration across the region and the larger network.

The initial parties in the Greater Kansas City partnership are Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, Mo, University of Kansas, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and KC Digital Drive.

MetroLab partners focus on research, development, and deployment (RD&D) projects that offer technological and analytically-based solutions to challenges facing urban areas including: inequality in income, health, mobility, security and opportunity; aging infrastructure; and environmental sustainability and resiliency.

City-university partnerships are mutually-beneficial relationships in which the university is the city’s RD&D department and the city is a test-bed. Faculty and students get access to real-life laboratories to test advanced approaches aimed at addressing city priorities and challenges. Cities, and their residents, benefit from technologies and policies that leverage digital and information technology, data analytics, sensing, and more.

Individually, city-university RD&D partnerships are beneficial and help drive innovative approaches in government. When networked together, they present an opportunity to scale effective solutions, accelerate best practices, and advance the understanding of urban science.


Greater Kansas City MetroLab Partners

Related News

Comeback KC Celebration Story

The UMKC Technology Venture Studio and KC Digital Drive teams celebrated March 7
Comeback KC Ventures, a program that supported innovations that aim to solve pandemic-
related issues, built in just 18 months. It was a culmination of work and community
collaboration these past 20 months that led to new companies, the growth of others and most
importantly the broad impacts of our Comeback KC Ventures fellows’ efforts to curb the impact
of the pandemic on the Kansas City region and beyond.

Read More

5 Amazing COVID-19 Innovations Created in the Kansas City Area

When you think of the next medical device, vaccine or COVID-19 treatment, you might think of the Mayo Clinic, a lab in Boston or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but right here in the Kansas City region, we have cutting-edge labs and researchers working hard to address the pandemic.

Read More

There are no upcoming events scheduled.