San Mateo County is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east. It occupies 455 square miles, and is home to 20 cities, and more than 764,000 people. Innovation is a major part of our county, and is home to industry leading companies in biotechnology, computer software, green technology, hospitality, financial management, health care, education and transportation.

The County of San Mateo provides for the health and welfare of all people within its borders and serves as the local government for the unincorporated areas. Our mission is to protect and enhance the health, safety, welfare and natural resources of the community, and provide quality services that benefit and enrich the lives of the people of this community. We are committed to:

  • The highest standards of public service;
  • A common vision of responsiveness;
  • The highest standards of ethical conduct;
  • Treating people with respect and dignity.

In carrying out our mission, we must continuously leverage new technology to better engage with those who live in, work in, and visit San Mateo County. We must provide more and better information, render our core services more effectively, and create new services that can be delivered in new ways. We must close the digital and resource divide within our communities and local government agencies.

As the Information Services Department (ISD) of the County of San Mateo, one part of our mission is to facilitate how our community connects to each other and engage with their government. We have created SMC Labs as San Mateo County’s Smart Region innovation center, and charged it with finding new ways to enhance how we serve all of our communities.

SMC Labs is one part of a broader, first-of-its-kind smart region initiative by the County of San Mateo to use modern innovation methodologies and “smart technologies,” such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, “big data,” and blockchain, to address regional issues. While many cities have “Smart City” initiatives, the efforts at San Mateo County are broader, targeting complex issues that span traditional boundaries.

SMC Labs supports all San Mateo County, from the smallest communities to the largest. We have built an end-to-end community innovation center to facilitate problem solving, bringing together problems with problem solvers. In order for SMC Labs to be successful, we actively partner and collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders to co-create a better San Mateo County. We invite participation and partnerships from residents, cities, businesses, universities, innovative solutions and services providers.

SMC Labs is directed by Ulysses Vinson, Chief Smart Communities Officer for the County of San Mateo. SMC Labs reports directly to the county’s Chief Information Officer, Jon Walton. We are assisted by our strategic innovation partner, Strategy of Things.