Municipal governments play a key role in creating sustainable societies. To support the municipal sustainability agenda, diverse stakeholders such as researchers, civil society and the private sector have set up collaborations covering experiments in the fields of digitalization, construction and climate change, as well as inclusion and democracy. To understand the trends, we have assessed how nine municipal governments in Sweden (Gothenburg, Linköping, Lund, Malmö, Nacka, Örebro, Östersund, Västerås and Vellinge) have engaged with research and innovation projects, focusing on a series of Swedish funders. We have created heat maps showcasing the topics municipal governments engage with and the networks they participate in. Our results provide insights into the priorities of these cities and highlight knowledge and collaboration gaps.

In this online session at the Innovate4Cities conference , experts will discuss these knowledge and collaboration gaps, as well as the motivations, benefits and challenges that municipal governments face when joining research and experimentation projects. They will also reflect on the changing role of municipal governments in research and experimentation projects and talk about different topic areas that have yet to be explored. Finally, the panellists will highlight some of the opportunities and key actions to take to improve innovation in cities. 


  • 16:45 Welcome and introduction
  • 16:50 Presentation of the research findings  how have nine Swedish cities engaged with research and innovation?
    • Fedra Vanhuyse, Head of Division and Project Lead of Viable Cities’ Finance, SEI 
  • 17:00 Panel discussion on the findings of the research
    • Fedra Vanhuyse, Head of Division and Project Lead of Viable Cities’ Finance, SEI 
    • Linda Bell, Programme Director, Mistra and Formas 
    • Olga Kordas, Director of Viable Cities SIP and Research Leader, UrbanT/Urban Analytics and Transition research group, KTH
    • AnneMarie Maes, Artist
  • 17:40 Concluding remarks
  • 17:45 End

Viable Cities Finance is a research project that examines how financial actors and cities can best collaborate to fund the achievement of the sustainability-related goals of Swedish cities. The project is led by SEI in partnership with Cleantech Scandinavia and Misum at the Stockholm School of Economics.