Fernando Medina


547,733 (2011)

Lead Innovation Officers

Ana Margarida Figueiredo, Ana Sofia Aníbal

Innovation is helping to:
  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

  • Improve service delivery

  • Engage residents and other stakeholders

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Human resource support

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

  • Engagement with partners

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Lisbon

Smart Open Lisboa (SOL) is an open innovation program for start-ups to pilot their solutions aimed at improving the lives of residents. The most innovative and viable solutions receive guidance and support from SOL, gain access to key corporations, and earn a chance to work directly with potential customers or partners to further develop their ideas. After two broader editions aimed to address all urban challenges, the recent editions of SOL focus on the issues of Housing (2018) and Mobility (2019).

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Lisbon has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Lisbon approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that Lisbon is focused on

Economic Development

Smart Open Lisboa is an open innovation program for startups to pilot innovative solutions that can be applied to address mobility or other challenges in Lisbon.

Policy areas by number of cities

Lisbon utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Innovation roles by number of cities

As an independent department, Lisbon’s dedicated innovation team consists of 5 staff.

Terms Lisbon most associates with innovation

Technological innovation

Lisbon's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Engaging residents in new ways
  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, Lisbon 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)
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.

Activities being funded

Investing in digital systems
Investing in physical infrastructure
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

Lisbon’s funding for innovation capacity is generally directed towards financing start-ups, and investing in open innovation programs such as Hub Criativo do Beato.

*"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?

Lisbon 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.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Public works

Digital governance

Land use


Insufficient data

Built environment

Environment and climate change

Economic Development

Labour market and skills


No Response


Social welfare/social services

Policing and law enforcement




Waste and sewage

Social inclusion and equity


Government finance