Innovation and entrepreneurship have an important role to play in shaping the future of cities. City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE)—a partnership between Nesta, Accenture and the Future Cities Catapult—provides city policymakers with resources to help them develop policy initiatives that catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship in cities. This report is an introduction to the CITIE framework, analysis and results for 2015.
CITIE’s analysis of 40 cities globally shows that there are certain traits that high-performing city governments share:
They make sure that very different areas of policy need to work in concert.
They are open by default.
They employ styles of working that are more closely associated with start-ups than bureaucrats.
A new wave of businesses is changing how people interact with the city around them, through the creation of data-driven, location-aware and on-demand services. City governments around the world are starting to take action to capitalize on these trends. Our research shows policymakers in cities are using an impressive range of initiatives to create the right conditions for talent, ideas and businesses to flourish.
Five cities that currently represent best practice globally for 2015:
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CITIE has identified that the approach a city government takes to innovation and entrepreneurship can be characterized by answers to the following three questions:
CITIE has designed a framework that identifies nine different roles that a city can play to support innovation and entrepreneurship.
City governments can increase their openness to new ideas and businesses through their roles as Regulator, Advocate and Customer. They can optimize the enabling infrastructure for high-growth businesses in their roles as Host, Investor and Connector. And they can lead from within the city hall through their roles as Strategist, Digital Governor and Datavore.
In its 2015 analysis, CITIE has identified some trends on city innovation over the past few years:
High-performing city governments play a variety of roles to support innovation and entrepreneurship, including that of:
While the CITIE analysis shows a rich diversity of approaches to catalyzing innovation and entrepreneurship, there are few common characteristics of high-performing cities that others can draw inspiration from:
Making sure that different areas of policy work in concert. Good policy in one area can be undermined by bad policy in another. As a result, they tend to have teams, individuals or strategies in place who champion innovation across departmental silos.
Being open by default. City governments should recognize that the kind of knowledge and ideas needed to drive change are unlikely to reside entirely within city hall. As a result, they habitually find ways to work with outsiders in solving urban problems.
Employing styles of working that are more closely associated with start-ups than bureaucrats. Cities should be happy to try things out and not afraid to fail. High-performing cities are increasingly delivering agile projects, prototyping, deploying user-led design and developing digital services. As a result, they are able to move quickly as the world changes around them.