Michael Ludwig


1,900,000 (2016)

Lead Innovation Officer

Christian Wurm

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Human resource support

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Vienna

The city of Vienna’s Strategy for Economy and Innovation focuses on six issues that would help resolve the major challenges of the coming decade such as climate change, technological advancement, urban growth, and increased life expectancy. The Strategy also outlines 10 fields of strategic actions, one of which entails “Innovative Urban Administration”. Through innovations in public administration, Vienna continuously strives to develop and improve its services, tailoring them for specific target groups in order to boost local business productivity.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Vienna has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Vienna approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Vienna is focused on

Vienna does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Vienna utilizes 1 innovation skill or role

Project manager
Innovation roles by number of cities

In the Department for Economic Affairs, Labor and Statistics, the section of Research, Technology and Innovation consists of 5 staff specifically dedicated to innovation work. However, there are also other staff members across the municipal departments working on innovation.

Terms Vienna most associates with innovation

Resident engagement

Vienna'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
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
  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, Vienna 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
Idea generation & brainstorming
Paying for services
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, Vienna'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?

Vienna 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, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Waste and sewage


Social welfare/social services

Social inclusion and equity

Public works

Policing and law enforcement

Land use

Labour market and skills



Government finance

Environment and climate change

Built environment




Digital governance

Economic Development