Working with innovation involves many uncertain variables. That's why we try to work agile, with a less detailed plan that allows for changes along the way. As we learn more in the exploration phase, investing in the project becomes less risky. With more knowledge about the initiative, we dare to invest more resources, dig deeper and develop further. 

The city's innovation model provides a framework, making it possible to create innovations from our ideas. The innovation model consists of four steps and is used regardless of whether it is an idea-driven, challenge-driven or opportunity-driven innovation.  

Explore idea: Here we look at the needs behind the idea, and try to understand it fully. Pre-understanding is important in order to be able to explore and formulate ideas for how we can meet that need. 

Explore layout: We set expected effect goals and explore an imaginary approach for us to test it in a pilot, for a limited period of time.  

Develop pilot: We develop an MVP, minimum viable product, and test it in live conditions. We learn from the test by continuously measuring the value that is being created. Along the way we fine-tune and build new versions. This phase continues until we find a product or service that we are satisfied with, or we close the pilot if we do not believe it creates enough value.  

Scale: Finally, we do an in-depth evaluation of whether the initiative creates value or not. We do this by measuring against set effect goals. If the product or service has created value, we want to try to scale the initiative and implement the innovation across the entire organisation. A decision to scale requires good documentation and a clear plan for how the organisation will work with the innovation.

Assessment criteria and decisions on innovation funds

Our innovation model contains three major decision points: decision on time, decision on financing and decision to scale. Deciding on time means allocating resources to explore the innovation - freeing up time for the employee to continue to explore the innovation. Deciding on financing enables the employee with the idea to request funds in order to test the idea in a pilot. The process leading up to the scaling looks different. When we develop a pilot, we constantly ask ourselves if we are creating value and if we should continue or not. It is only when we see actual value that a decision can be made to scale the pilot into an actual innovation, and possibly be implemented in the entire organisation.  

Our assessment criteria
Representatives from the city's various administrations decide on financing for the innovation initiatives. To guide them in that process, there are a number of assessment criteria. The more criteria being met, the higher the likelihood that the initiative in question is a possible innovation. 

  • Solves a need in a strategic area (challenges the core business or solves one of the city's common challenges) 
  • Has great potential value return (scaling is possible) 
  • Has a conceivable national / global benefit 
  • Has technical height (if technology involved) 
  • Is data driven (can measure effects) 
  • Not included in the regular development plan 
  • Made in collaboration with partners (for example residents, universities, associations or businesses) 
  • Has a committed and engaged employee behind it 
  • Has an uncertain result (may lead to disruption) 

Each administration decides on funding for pilots, and the administration grants innovation funds before the pilot is developed. The city encourages co-financing of joint initiatives.