Stewarding innovation portfolios for the ecosystem: catalysing collective system change

Case study by Emily Wise: “…Future by Lund (FBL) is an innovation platform located in the city of Lund, in southern Sweden. The municipality of Lund spearheads this collaborative effort (with more than 50 partners) to catalyse innovative solutions for sustainable and attractive cities and to strengthen the innovation culture of the ecosystem in Lund. Since its start in 2013, FBL has developed its system leadership function – scouting trends and identifying opportunities, matching relevant actors and catalyzing collaborative action, and developing a community of actors (companies, universities, research institutes, innovation support actors) and portfolio of activities that (collectively) contribute to a more sustainable and attractive city. For instance, FBL gathered a group of actors and facilitated initial activities to develop an electric road – moving from idea to national demonstrator over the course of six years. FBL played a similar “initial catalyst” role in developing a new energy solution – Ectogrid.

FBL is one of six innovation platforms supported through a programme at Sweden’s innovation agency – Vinnova, which is soon coming to its end. The funding and other support from Vinnova have helped FBL build its capacity to proactively foster innovation activities that respond to challenges and sustainable development aims that can only be addressed in collaboration with others – operating in between municipal and other organisational mandates, in the more exploratory, uncertain, and bottom-up areas of innovation activity (see figure below).

Figure 1: Future by Lund – leading in between organisations…(More)”.