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New innovation methods for complex societal challenges are developed and tested

Published: 9 September 2022

In order to cope with the transition to a sustainable society and meet the challenges we face, thorough changes are required with the help of new knowledge and innovation. The whole of society needs to gather strength and change in order to reach the 17 global goals in Agenda 2030. For this, system innovation and new innovation methods that accelerate the change are needed.

This web page has been machine translated. If there are any uncertainties, please refer to the Swedish text.

- We need to jointly accelerate innovation that responds to the great challenges of our time. For that to be possible, the innovation system must be developed, which is a main task for Vinnova to contribute to. A clearer direction and sufficiently ambitious and long-term investments in collaboration with business are required, says Darja Isaksson, director general of Vinnova.

Step by step, the realization has come that we need to address complex social challenges and carry out innovation work in new ways in order to change society, for example to create climate-neutral cities and communities. In order to succeed in the transition, system innovation and change are needed in several dimensions at the same time; policy and regulations, technology, business models, investments, behavior and infrastructure.

The development of so-called system demonstrators is a way to enable system innovation with great power and mobilization to meet complex societal challenges. With system demonstrators, we want to test and demonstrate the conversion of a system in a real environment, where space is created for experimentation and where areas with great potential can be scaled up. Conceptual development has been going on for a couple of years and now Vinnova is carrying out several initiatives to experiment with system demonstrators.

- As an initiative to move forward in development, Vinnova together with the strategic innovation program Viable Cities has chosen to prototype system demonstrators with a focus on conversion to climate-neutral cities in 2030, based on the needs of the municipalities and citizens, says Andreas Netz, head of department and development manager of Vinnova's work with system demonstrators.

- The municipalities and their partners in Viable Cities work together to accelerate the transition to climate-neutral cities in 2030 with a good life for everyone within the planet's borders. Together, we are now starting work on developing a new form of intervention with a focus on implementation and scaling up. System demonstrators must be developed as a powerful tool for the transition, says Olga Kordas, program manager for Viable Cities.

System demonstrators should be seen as one among many forms of intervention needed to promote system innovation. The concept development of system demonstrators builds on a series of related initiatives that have emerged in recent years. Examples are Deep Demonstrators for Clean and Healthy Cities (Climate-KIC), Creative Councils (Nesta) and Climate Neutral Cities 2030 (Viable Cities).

The background to and design of Vinnova and Viable Cities's joint effort is described in this whitepaper.

Six project have been granted funding for a design phase for system demonstrators. These project are run by the municipalities of Gothenburg, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm together with Järfälla and Nacka, Uppsala together with Linköping and Umeå and Umeå.

Here you can read more about the above project: System demonstrators for faster climate change in cities | Vinnova

Last updated 9 September 2022

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