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Benchmarking innovation policy in cities

24th June 2015

In collaboration with Nesta and Accenture we've published a new guide called CITIE that will help policymakers in cities create the best possible environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The guide provides a means of benchmarking the way in which cities encourage innovation, assessing them on criteria such as investment, regulation and willingness to adopt new technologies and processes.

The approach was developed through consultation with city government leaders, policy experts, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, ultimately identifying 36 policy levers that enable innovation and entrepreneurship.

The CITIE Framework has three levels of analysis

Our CITIE analysis reveals New York as having the most effective policy environment to foster innovation, followed by London, Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam. With strong leadership over the past decade, New York has established itself as a destination for innovation. London almost came out as number one, but was kept away from the top spot by its lack of a Chief Technology Officer or innovation team — new roles that have proved incredibly successful in other cities. Elsewhere, the appearance of Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam in the top five demonstrates that smaller cities are as capable of fostering positive environments for innovation as larger ones.

It’s hoped that the framework developed in the CITIE guide will help policy makers around the world to encourage innovation. In fact, the findings reveal that while a diverse range of approaches to encouraging innovation exists, all of the top-performing cities take a creative, open and nimble approach. Perhaps most importantly, they often act more like entrepreneurs than bureaucrats — something that many cities should aspire to.

“One of the most fundamental challenges of 21st century city governance lies in creating an environment where entrepreneurs and businesses can thrive,” explains Scott Cain, our Chief Business Officer. “As cities face strains that include ageing populations, shifting public service provisions and the saturation of infrastructure, there’s never been a more vital time for innovation, nor a more difficult situation in which to make it happen. The framework proposed in the CITIE project provides a springboard from which cities can do just that.”

You can read more about the CITIE guide at www.citie.org.

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