• 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.

  • 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
In 2018, the WG will specifically:
1) Continue to work on challenges cities face when developing and growing their local innovation ecosystems, based on our report on this issue published in September 2017.
2) Exchange on specific topics during thematic meetings, for example the night economy and looking at what are the opportunities in terms of city innovation policy, but also related issues such as support to start ups, and the service sector, and also city branding.

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.


Iina Oilinki
Special advisor

vice chair

Paivi Sutinen

EUROCITIES staff contact

Aleksandra Olejnik
EUROCITIES Brussels Office
Policy advisor