Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation Measurement

CITIE: Benchmarking Innovation Policy in Cities

CITIE_Report_2015-1City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE) provides city policymakers with a resource to help them develop the policy initiatives that catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship in cities.

CITIE guide is the product of a partnership between Nesta, Accenture and the Future Cities Catapult. It provides a means of benchmarking the way in which cities encourage innovation, assessing them on criteria such as investment, regulation and willingness to adopt new technologies and processes. The approach was developed through consultation with city government leaders, policy experts, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, ultimately identifying 36 policy levers that enable innovation and entrepreneurship.

CITIE comprises four main components:

  1. A framework for understanding how policy in nine key areas at the city level can be used to support innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. A diagnostic tool that allows cities to understand how they perform against this framework relative to 40 global cities.
  3. A range of examples and case studies that shine a light on best practice from around the world.
  4. The results and analysis for 2015


The CITIE framework

The CITIE framework provides a resource for city policymakers who want to develop policy to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

The CITIE Framework

The framework is comprised by three levels:

  1. Policy dimensions: overarching questions about how a city supports innovation and entrepreneurship (Openness, Infrastructure and Leadership).
  2. Policy roles: the nine roles that city governments can play to support innovation and entrepreneurship (Regulator, Advocate, Customer, Host, Investor, Connector, Strategist, Digital Governor and Datavore).
  3. Policy levers: the specific policy initiatives we use to measure how well cities perform these roles


The analysis of 40 cities

CITIE has assessed 40 city governments from around the world against the policy framework. The cities were selected to provide a diverse set of insights across cities of different sizes, cultural contexts and with different stages of maturity in the start-up ecosystem. The analysis revolves around nine policy roles that city governments can adopt to support innovation and entrepreneurship.


The analysis reveals New York as having the most effective policy environment to foster innovation, followed by London, Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam. With strong leadership over the past decade, New York has established itself as a destination for innovation. London almost came out as number one, but was kept away from the top spot by its lack of a Chief Technology Officer or innovation team ‘” new roles that have proved incredibly successful in other cities. Elsewhere, the appearance of Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam in the top five demonstrates that smaller cities are as capable of fostering positive environments for innovation as larger ones.

Factors important to entrepreneurs that city governments can influence
Factors important to entrepreneurs that city governments can influence

The analysis set out a few points of context that help describe how the policy roles relate to one another and how best to interpret them:

  1. Some policy roles imply a direct focus on private sector entrepreneurship. Others are more about innovation within city hall. The system as a whole works best when these work together.
  2. The extent of control over each policy lever varies between different city governments.
  3. The areas that a city government has the most direct control over do not correlate perfectly with the things that matter most to entrepreneurs.
  4. The wider cultural and economic context of a city is also important, but we have kept our analysis focused on the policy levers that city governments have at their disposal.

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