Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of the first of what we hope will be many regional CITIE reports. The CITIE Nordic Report is the second in the CITIE series, and is produced by Nesta and Accenture, sponsored by Index Ventures.
The CITIE Nordic Analysis adds Stockholm and Oslo to the 40 cities already assessed under the framework, and takes a detailed look at the policy environment that makes the Nordic region work so well for entrepreneurs.
The report finds that Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo show “a consistently strong level of high performance” in developing and implementing the policies required to underpin a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. They are out-pacing their European neighbours in policy leadership by a significant margin, and also out-performing North American cities across many key policy roles.
Our analysis of the Nordic capital cities against the CITIE framework shows a consistently strong level of high performance, and demonstrates that smaller-scale cities are just as capable as larger cities of developing the policy and ecosystems to support innovation and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Despite smaller and less dense city populations, the quality of relationships can be just as important in enabling a strong policy environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
For each of the four cities, we find that innovation is defined by a particular approach or focus.
For Copenhagen, Citizen experience has defined its approach to innovation. The Street Lab promises to convert the city into an urban lab, where citizen-centric solutions will emerge. The city’s incubator for smart city solutions, it’s mandated to work across city departments and with citizens and companies. The city could look to appoint a Chief Innovation Officer who can develop the city’s vision, and who can advocate for the city on the global stage.
In Helsinki innovation is characterised by viewing the city as a platform. Forum Virium Helsinki, the city’s innovation unit has been pivotal in this transformation, bringing together the city government, companies, entrepreneurs and citizens on initiatives such as Open Ahjo, CitySDK and Helsinki Loves Developers. However the city needs to celebrate success and explicitly brand the city as a global centre of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The city of Oslo is in a rapid phase of learning and development. Through the Oslo Innovation Embassy, Norwegian entrepreneurs can secure a desk in The Trampery in Hackney, London to learn from peers. Extending this, the city should further develop its ‘soft landing’ support from providing information and advice, to the provision of grants, and access to working space for new businesses in the city.
People and place The city of Stockholm has built a solid foundation to support the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The city appointed a Chief Information Officer, set out a dedicated plan for e-services and technology (‘e-sthlm’), and published an innovation strategy that sets out five development areas for the city, including innovative procurement.
For example, the city should act as a first customer to local civic innovation, setting up the city urban fabric as a test-bed of innovation for new ideas.
Small tweaks to the policy environment of the Nordic region will ensure it remains a globally competitive location for innovation and entrepreneurship building on the already established strong foundations.
Download the report here;