The Netherlands


Onno van Veldhuizen


159,000 (2019)

Lead Innovation Officer

Gerdien Looman

Innovation is helping to:
  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Enschede

In the spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing, Enschede has entered into an innovative partnership with other Dutch cities. The independent cooperative, named “Dimpact”, is designed to initiate and co-create innovative solutions for optimal public service delivery. The city has co-developed “I4 Sociaal”, a digital environment where residents can create a tailored public profile with their personal data. Based on these data, the municipality can offer targeted solutions and public information useful for users. The platform enables municipalities to provide residents with useful information about facilities and important regulations in a quick and efficient manner.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Enschede does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to more than half of cities surveyed, Enschede approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Enschede is focused on

Social welfare/social services
Digital governance
Policy areas by number of cities

Enschede utilizes 3 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Data scientist
Communication officer
Innovation roles by number of cities

Enschede’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipality, with no dedicated staff working specifically on building innovation capacity .

Terms Enschede most associates with innovation

Data analytics

Enschede's most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Enschede has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

International/multilateral institution budget
International/multilateral institution budget
This refers to resources from international and/or multilateral institutions’ budgets (i.e. European Union)
Regional/State/Province/Territorial budget
Municipal budget
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.
External funding
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.
Innovative financing tools
e.g. Social Impact Bonds, Crowdsourcing

Activities being funded

Idea generation & brainstorming
Investing in digital systems
Investing in physical infrastructure
Paying for services
47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

*"Training staff and building capacity" is not an option in the 2018 survey, while "Launching or sustaining a project" is not an option in the 2020 survey.

How is innovation measured?

Enschede has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with the private sector, academia and think tanks, to collect and analyze data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement


Government finance

Waste and sewage

Public works


Built environment


Insufficient data

Land use

Social welfare/social services


Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Social inclusion and equity


Digital governance