9 ways to become smarter – faster

9 ways to become smarter – faster

Your checklist for a smart and sustainable future 

Using the experience, insights and technical detail established in IRIS cities and beyond is key. But, however you seek to replicate smart solutions; ensuring they make financial sense will turbo charge investment and take up. 

IRIS partner IMCG International drew on their extensive experience and interviews with local authorities to identify how cities can better boost innovation, unlock financial solutions and create impact. 

Here, they boil it down to key takeaways and proven actions to create your roadmap when adopting smart and sustainable solutions: 

  1. Establish impact goals clearly related to the field in which the city aims to make a transition – for instance mobility. These goals should be embedded in a well-packaged story-line of WHY the decision makers aim for this, HOW the targets will be reached and WHAT the future city will consist of. The impact goal should also clearly describe the future business ecosystem in the city region. 
  2. Agree a decision-making process so that it is clear how the city will select among innovations to replicate and in what field and to manage the innovation initiatives. Identify what city function that will be the innovation or Impact manager and have the mandate to make decisions. To implement all this, an innovative culture should be nurtured – the base for all this is the Innovation Strategy 
  3. Establish a time-line for the roadmap and preferably also a district-by-district sequence to orient the local businesses about upcoming new quality criteria.  
  4. Gather information on investment costs – and discuss them with the city that already has implemented the solution you are interested in
  5. Investigate suitable funding – make a financial roadmap that clearly shows how you intend to finance the implementation of the solution. 
  6. Understand the business model – for instance, check available business model fact sheets, discuss with solution providers and the cities that already have the solution, and secure knowledge transfer. There are many relevant business model tools available. Aim to consult those that look at the value chain needed to make implementation possible. 
  7. Plan to identify and overcome national regulatory and legal framework barriers – sometimes what is written can be re-interpreted 
  8. Involve citizens – learn from cities already implementing the solution and listen to their citizens description of the problem – which is key for being able to deliver better, smarter, more sustainable and attractive services to the citizens 
  9. Monitor and evaluate – identify how the city would like to measure its’ innovation management process. 

Johan Emanuel, IRIS Smart Cities partner -  IMCG”Make your innovation attractive to funders from the start…regardless of the size of your project, you need at least three things to convince a funder: a feasibility study that lays out the proves of concept you have conducted; a business plan that demonstrates how your innovation fits into the broader business ecosystem; and an implementation plan that explains how you plan to see the project through – this is extremely important to gain a funder’s trust.”

Johan Emanuel, IRIS Smart Cities partner -  IMCG

Ulrika Wahlström, IRIS Smart Cities partner - IMCG“Cities must set goals for themselves in terms of energy, mobility and ICT. The next step is creating a strategy and establishing who is going to lead the work. At the moment, it is not always easy to identify who is in charge of innovation management in a given city. 

It is also important to foster a culture of innovation, where people dare to explore new solutions, and create an enabling environment through adequate regulations, investments and governance arrangements.”

Ulrika Wahlström, IRIS Smart Cities partner - IMCG


See also: 

IrisTV Interview Ulrika Wahlström and Johan Emanuel - IMCG International


10 Dec 2021