Anna König Jerlmyr


974,073 (2019)

Lead Innovation Officer

Gunnar Björkman

Innovation is helping to:
  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Human resource support

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Stockholm

Digital Demo Stockholm (DDS) is an innovation partnership between the public sector, academia and private industry that leverages digital solutions to facilitate and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Stockholm. Based on the Triple Helix model and Design Thinking process, DDS addresses the region’s challenges with innovative tools derived from design work. Demo projects range from “iWater”– a cloud-based sensor technology providing real-time updates on changes to the drinking water network for faster detection of contamination to “Smart locks” – a digital, key-free solution aimed at increasing efficiency and security, reducing cost and providing greater freedom for the elderly.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Stockholm has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to more than half of cities surveyed, Stockholm approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Stockholm is focused on

Digital governance
Economic Development
Policy areas by number of cities

Stockholm utilizes 9 different innovation skills or roles

Data scientist
Project manager
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Business analyst
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated within the City Executive Office, Stockholm’s dedicated innovation team consists of 9 staff.

Terms Stockholm most associates with innovation

Bold leadership
Increased quality in public services

Stockholm's most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
Facilitating organizational change within the municipality
e.g. silo-busting; new internal performance management; staff training and capacity building on innovation tools or techniques; reforms to contracting or procurement
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  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, Stockholm 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)
Central/federal/national government budget
Central/federal/national government budget
This refers to funding in the form of budget support to city authorities. Example: Stockholm (Sweden) launched the Hub for Innovation, a three-year long project funded by Sweden's National Innovation Authority, Vinnova in 2017. The hub supports a more innovative working culture within the city hall.
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.

Activities being funded

Idea generation & brainstorming
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

Similar to 61% of participating cities in the 2020 survey, Stockholm's funding for innovation capacity is also directed towards training staff and building capacity*.

*"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?

Stockholm has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies and municipalities, 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

Housing and built environment

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Social inclusion and equity

Public works


Digital governance

Waste and sewage

Policing and law enforcement

Government finance


Built environment

Land use


Social welfare/social services

No Response