How cities can get their bite of the innovation apple: New York comes out on top in global ranking
CITIE (City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship) is a guidebook that helps policymakers in cities create the best possible environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. It evaluates how effectively 40 city governments around the world do this*, and provides actionable insight to help policymakers catalyse growth.
Cities were assessed against how well they perform nine key roles within their local innovation ecosystem, such as Regulator, Customer and Investor.
New York City was identified as having the most effective policy environment to foster innovation, followed closely by London, Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam.
New York’s key differentiator was its long standing leadership over the last decade, which has supported the growth of a sector that now accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs. London also performs strongly in second place, but lacks internal capabilities such as a Chief Technology Officer or innovation team that have proved successful elsewhere.
Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam’s places in the top five show that smaller cities with less publicised tech scenes are also starting to create the right conditions for growth. Some of the most innovative ideas can be found in these cities, such as Helsinki’s mobility on demand strategy, Barcelona’s open procurement, and Amsterdam’s living lab for entrepreneurs to test live ideas.
While the CITIE analysis shows a rich diversity of approaches across different cities, there are three characteristics that high-performing authorities have in common:
- They find creative ways to effect change outside of their formal policy responsibilities; taking startups on mayoral visits, hosting meetups and connecting different parts of the community together.
- They are open by default, recognising that the expertise necessary to solve problems in the 21st Century may not reside solely within city hall, and working with outside organisations wherever possible.
- They act more like entrepreneurs than bureaucrats. Employees are given licence to try things out, think big, and to work at the pace of change in the world around them.
John Gibson, Director of Government Innovation at Nesta, said, “City governments can’t build tech communities. That’s not how entrepreneurship works. But there’s a number of clear things that cities can do to create the most fertile environment for new businesses and new ideas. The objective of CITIE is to help them do this well. By focusing our analysis on the specific things that policymakers can do, we hope to provide the kind of actionable insights that can inform policy, drive growth and make cities better places to live.
“Cities have always been crucibles of innovation and engines for change, and this phenomenon is no less vital today. Vibrant start-up ecosystems have become increasingly important not only for growth and jobs, but also for a city government’s ability to solve local problems and run itself well.”
The CITIE report and online resources will be launched tonight at an event at Second Home, hosted by Index Ventures. City governments can assess how they compare to other cities and identify areas to improve on with the CITIE diagnostic tool, available at www.citie.org.
Notes to editors
For media enquiries, please contact Natalie Hodgson on 020 7438 2614/[email protected]
- * It did this by identifying nine roles that a city can play to support innovation and entrepreneurship; from regulator and customer, to host and connector. Cities were then assessed to see how well they played these roles by measuring the extent to which they have implemented 36 different policy levers which collectively amount to best practice. This process generated around 1400 unique data points.
- Consultation with city government leaders, policy experts, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs to identify three policy dimensions (Openness, Infrastructure and Leadership) that city governments have direct influence over and are important to entrepreneurs.
- To construct the CITIE framework, the research team identified and measured performance against 36 policy levers that sit underneath the nine policy roles that city governments can adopt to better enable innovation and entrepreneurship. They analysed whether, and if so how extensively, a city has implemented each of the policy levers identified in the framework. In the process, they collected, analysed and reviewed approximately 1,440 unique data points.
- Secondary desk-based research to supplement primary data collection.
CITIE is a collaboration between Nesta, Accenture and the Future Cities Catapult. It aims to help city leaders around the world understand how they can create the best environment for entrepreneurship and innovation. www.citie.org
Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation. www.nesta.org.uk
About the Future Cities Catapult
The Future Cities Catapult is a global centre of excellence on urban innovation, a place where cities, businesses and universities develop together the solutions cities need for a strong economy, resilient environment and an improved quality of life. One of seven Catapult centres established by Innovate UK, it focuses on the challenge of urban integration: helping cities take a more joined-up approach to the way they plan and operate. Its central London Urban Innovation Centre and Cities Lab provide cutting-edge facilities for cross-disciplinary innovation. www.futurecities.catapult.org.uk