Anna König Jerlmyr


949,761 (2017)

Lead Innovation Officer

Gunnar Björkman

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

  • Improve service delivery

  • Simplify administrative procedures for firms and residents

Critical success factors:
  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Dedicated innovation team

Spotlight on innovation in Stockholm

The city of Stockholm has a goal of mainstreaming innovation into the city staff mindset as well as into capacity processes and raising awareness projects in schools. Design Thinking method was the approach adopted by the city to materialise the partnership with OpenLap. In 2017, the City of Stockholm launched an idea hub for innovation to help foster a more innovative working culture within the organisation. In parallel, the Digital Demo Stockholm project was developed to make the public sector, academia and industry collaborate on innovation. One goal is to motivate and engage young people to explore together and see the practical value of knowledge through technology.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, Stockholm has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Stockholm approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Stockholm is focused on

Stockholm does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Stockholm utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

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

Situated in the City Hall and partly at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 6 staff.

Terms Stockholm most associates with innovation

Bold leadership
Altered working culture

Stockholm's most common innovation activities

Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
  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 a goal of taking risks and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 77% of cities surveyed, Stockholm has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Multilateral institution budget
Higher levels of government
Non-financial resources
Non-financial resources
This could include staff on loan and/or other in-kind contributions (e.g. materials, infrastructure…)

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

Stockholm also hosts and participates in design thinking sessions with experts and other stakeholders.

How is innovation measured?

Stockholm has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organisations, and city residents/resident associations. The innovation team hosts participatory planning sessions to interact directly with residents.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with Sweco, a statistical consulting company, to collect and analyse data.

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

Insufficient data

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage