• economy

This working group promotes exchanges on local innovation ecosystems and influences EU policies and funding programmes, such as Horizon 2020.

Cities have a powerful story to tell about the potential of innovation to achieve and maintain growth, while also addressing common challenges such as climate change, decarbonisation, health, ageing, etc. .

Our working group on innovation focuses on the whole innovation system, in particular the role of local government in creating a supportive ‘ecosystem’ for technology, innovation, learning, and knowledge.


  • Drafting a policy paper on local innovation ecosystems which will include examples of good practices from cities and a number of concrete policy and project recommendations to be addressed to DG GROW and/or DG R&I.

  • Identifying topics/fields of activities in which member cities are particularly advanced in order to develop ideas for a mutual learning programme based on exchange of good practices and policy transfer.

  • Collecting ideas on how to organise Creathons in cities (and how to lobby for funding opportunities to finance Creathon projects).

The policy paper will be based on the results of the survey circulated at the end of 2016 and on the discussion held with members at the EDF meeting in Stockholm/Nacka/Solna. 

The work about Creathons will be continued during a plenary session at the next Economic Development Forum in San Sebastian. Members will have the change to discuss and pitch their ideas for Creathons. There will also be a discussion about the first steps of the lobbying process.

Through our working group, cities explore and exchange on the following topics:

  • understanding, monitoring, and strengthening city innovation systems

  • mobilising and orientating innovation to address common challenges

  • overcoming barriers to innovation


The working group will also influence 2014-2020 tools for innovation.

In collaboration with other working groups and forums, our working group on innovation monitors and influences EU policies (e.g. innovation union, digital agenda); strategic EU initiatives (such as future internet, smart cities); and, most importantly, EU instruments on research and innovation, such as Horizon 2020 funding programme.

It works together with the EU institutions and other EU networks and forums to provide cooperation and exchange opportunities for EUROCITIES members.

The working group identifies and highlights innovation strengths and excellences where synergies might be possible. It facilitates and encourages new partnerships, networks and transnational innovation projects and examines existing funding projects on innovation and other relevant research findings.

Members will produce a statement on local innovation ecosystems, incorporating a number of case studies; identifying synergies across cities and common learning on topics of interest; and pinpointing barriers and opportunities for collaboration.


Santtu Vonbruun
Head of Unit (Unit for urban development and competitiveness)

vice chair

Toon Bom
Netwerkstad Twente

EUROCITIES staff contact

Marie Ranty
EUROCITIES Brussels Office
Policy advisor