Urban ICT Arena is an open ICTs and co-creation arena and testbed in an urban environment developing, testing and showcasing possibilities for digitalisation.
- The Urban ICT Arena was created in a triple helix model (cooperation between industry, academia and public sector) as an open co-creation arena and testbed for innovative projects in the ICT field. It develops, tests and showcases innovative solutions in the urban world and supports tech start-ups and SMEs by providing them a space for testing their technology solutions or prototypes.
-The Urban ICT Arena has three objectives: a) Developing sustainable cities (foster more ICT-based solutions for urban sustainability challenges than there are at present resulting in both greater impact and lower costs), b) Boosting innovation (One aim of Urban ICT Arena is to secure and strengthen the capability to support innovation processes and to support SMEs and start-ups in developing ICT-based products and services.) and c) Securing the jobs of tomorrow (One of the long-term aims of Urban ICT Arena is to advance the region and prepare it for new future demands).
- In order to participate within the testbed, start-ups or SMEs need to show how their project: a) contributes to one or more of the overall aims of the Urban ICT Arena, b) is #NotBoring and c) is digitally sustainable.
- The beneficiaries of this good practice are the SMEs and start-ups, which through the Urban ICT Arena have the chance to test their concepts and solutions in a real and urban environment.

Resources needed

-Established network: The founding partners worked in a triple helix model for years prior to its creation.
- 400.000 euros (year 1)
- 250.000 euros (year 2) + awarded projects
- 700.000 euros (year 3) + awarded projects
*Answers from interview with Petra Dalunde (COO of Urban ICT Arena).

Evidence of success

-A 6-month pilot of two self-driving shuttle buses operating in Stockholm, sets a bold example for multimodal urban transport (http://www.urbanictarena.se/smart-self-driving-buses-start-operating-kista-today/).
-The world’s first 5G connected Bike is continuously refined by students of KTH who install sensors for environmental or road condition monitoring (air quality and environmental monitoring such as dust/particulates, CO2, etc.) (http://www.urbanictarena.se/not-boring-5g-bike/).

Difficulties encountered

-Partners need to be engaged for a successful collaboration and co-creation.
-When at the forefront of innovation, one may come across resistance to change or even criticism.
-Being able to remain agile and flexible.
*Answers from interview with Petra Dalunde (COO of Urban ICT Arena).

Potential for learning or transfer

It is crucial for the success of start-up ideas in the transportation field, to be provided with a testbed and urban environment, where they can test innovative solutions. Urban ICT Arena is a good example of how to support tech innovation and every region could learn from it.
Main institution
Urban ICT Arena
Mellersta Norrland, Sweden (Sverige)
Start Date
November 2016
End Date


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