The European Network of City Policy Labs  

Smart City is a global urban challenge. Its core is a complex combination of leveraging the city’s unique contribution to the globalized world, driving local communities’ sustainable development while adopting a digital transformation, energy transition, and mobility restructuring without significantly increasing its budget.
It is a mammoth of a task only for the Smarter Mayors.
That is why we, at Innovate City, perceived that mayors ability to drive a regulatory framework for a thriving city is a critical risk factor for cities to become smarter and more sustainable. But, turning the city smarter is a global challenge for all cities. The smartest starting point is to get all city leaders together in a collaboration network, and experience exchange focused on their primary activity: regulate to thrive!
Based on years of experience within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, we launched a European Network of City Policy Labs.
In common, most cities signed for the New Urban Agenda and EU’s Join Boost and Sustain, commit for the Paris agreement on carbon neutrality, and the Tallinn agreement on eGovernance among dozens of others.

If Mayors share the same visions, shouldn’t they also share the regulations supporting the visions? Why not going a step further and share the investments, partners and purchases to support such visions?

This EU Smart Cities Marketplace initiative is open to all local governments to cooperate in their activities, acting together, reducing the risks and the costs while implementing what works for their communities’ best.

The European Network of City Policy Labs has the objective to act in three main areas:

Smart City cooperative

Innovate.City has developed a cooperative model for research, adoption and acquiring Smart City Solutions. Cities can join forces in cooperative research programs, joint investments in a cooperative procurement body (CPB), joint EU calls or simply piggybacking on other urban processes.
By moving from a network to a cooperative of city leaders, a Policy Lab is the gateway for cities do more with less.


Digital Governance

From the evident inability from cities to regulate emerging businesses models (like extraction platforms pretending to be “shared” economy) and new advanced technologies (like Blockchain, drones and AI) in time and for the best interest of their local communities. Digital Governance is critical for local development, and yet, there is an evident lack of capacity that can be improved by a network of cities sharing their experiments while adopting anticipatory regulation. o.

Co-creation ecosystem

Open governance, sharing the city’s challenges or missions to all city stakeholders co-create solutions is definitely the post-pandemic new paradigm. Local governments must enable the development of this ecosystem, offering an urban structure (digital and brick and mortar) along with a team of experts to engage and bring together all relevant stakeholders. The ability to do so much more with less will make the city smarter while thriving communities will drive the ecosystem towards sustainable development.



Curiously, most of the existing policy labs are installed in city incubators or accelerators! The reason why is because a Policy Lab can play a critical role in local innovators to thrive. As crucial as investors and mentors, a favourable regulatory framework along with a disruptive procurement process represents the boost for success. Significant innovation must mean a behaviour change for the better via an out of the box approach to the establishment. That often means barriers to disruptive innovation. Regulatory sandboxes are a significant leap forward without jeopardy of the commonwealth.



Regulatory Sandboxes

Regulatory sandboxes are protective environments to test and grow new technologies and business models with significant impact. Such testing environments are vital for city progress: it allows the local community to drive the change without legal restraints, building new and innovative models while the Municipality measure its impact and adapt regulations along the way (anticipatory regulation). Regulatory sandboxes play a fundamental role in attracting investments, developing the local economy, improving its sustainability and guaranteeing that new trends and emerging technologies are implemented in the city for the best of the local community.

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If you are part of any local government contact us and we will guide you on the process. If you want your city to develop an FBE, sign up now, and we’ll help you make it happen!







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