The Netherlands


Ahmed Aboutaleb


623,654 (2015)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Mark Vermeer

Innovation is helping to:
  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve internal government operations

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

Spotlight on innovation in Rotterdam

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, Rotterdam does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Rotterdam approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that Rotterdam is focused on

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

Rotterdam utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

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

Rotterdam’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the city administration. There is an innovation-related task group with delegates from different departments.

Terms Rotterdam most associates with innovation

Technological innovation
Resident engagement

Rotterdam'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

Rotterdam's innovation activities also include promoting data-driven analytics; and developing new solutions based on digital technologies.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 19% of cities surveyed, Rotterdam does not have dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Rotterdam has no reported sources of funding.

Activities being funded

Rotterdam does not fund any specific activities.

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

How is innovation measured?

Rotterdam has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents/resident associations.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia and think tanks to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Housing and built environment

Waste and sewage


Social inclusion and equity


Insufficient data

Labour market and skills


No Response

Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement



Environment and climate change

Public works

Digital governance