José Luis Martínez-Almeida


3,200,000 (2016)

Lead Innovation Officer

Eloy Cuellar

Innovation is helping to:
  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve service delivery

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

  • Generate new sources of revenue

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Madrid

As part of efforts to promote innovation, Madrid has launched a digital platform designed to promote citizen participation in the management of municipal affairs. In addition to the online arena, the city has also created physical spaces to develop collaborative entrepreneurship; to facilitate open innovation among start-ups and big companies; and to promote innovative, disruptive, creative and collaborative attitudes among citizens. Recently, the city also launched a new project “Madrid Escucha” (Madrid Listening Project) where citizens and civil servants can design public services together.

Note: The City Innovation Snapshot (PDF version) was produced in 2019 and some aggregate findings have been updated with the latest survey results below.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

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

Policy areas that Madrid is focused on

Environment and climate change
Digital governance
Internal innovation
Policy areas by number of cities

Madrid utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Data scientist
Community engagement staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

Madrid’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipal administration including the general directorates of citizen participation, innovation and promotion of the city, and media lab center.

Terms Madrid most associates with innovation

Resident engagement

Madrid's most common innovation activities

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

Its innovation activities also include developing new solutions based on digital technologies and facilitating organizational change within the municipal administration.

How is innovation funded here?

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

Top sources of funding

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

The city also operates innovation labs as well as hosting trainings and events for design thinking and citizen engagement.

How is innovation measured?

Madrid has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations. In particular, the city council has set up areas available for innovators where they can propose and prototype their ideas, in close cooperation with experts and citizens.

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

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development


Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change

Social inclusion and equity

Insufficient data

Housing and built environment



Digital governance

No Response

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage


Public works