Why Cities need to Leverage Open Innovation to Accelerate Urban Development in the Country

Photo by ben o'bro on Unsplash

Indian cities face a lot of challenges due to rapid urbanisation, including improper waste management, increased traffic congestion, lack of access to clean water, etc. Though each city is different, many of these challenges are common across cities.

These urban challenges are complex & unprecedented in nature, thus requires the intervention of advanced technologies & innovations in addressing them.

Technologically advanced & innovative solutions often come from Startups, rather than large companies. But the problem with these solutions is that they need to be co-created & field-tested in the relevant urban environment before they can be bought for large scale implementation. Because solutions that are bought directly without co-creation & field-testing have a higher possibility of failing, as the solutions would not have been developed specifically to address the challenge.

Cities that are well-connected to startups, industries, and incubators may find it easy to find such solutions, while other—less connected—cities will still rely on traditional methods, often inefficient, to address challenges. Even well-connected cities may not have an efficient process to engage with Startups. Also, each city starts from scratch to identify solutions, best practices are not shared for cities to learn from. Thus the lack of a standard transparent process to identify technological & innovative solutions is hindering the growth of cities, slowing down urban development.

The City Innovation eXchange (CiX — cityinx.niua.org), an initiative by Smart Cities Mission, strategised & built by Forge, is an Open Innovation Platform that helps cities with a structured innovation process to discover, assess, and co-create solutions with Startups and other innovators. CiX also helps different cities to work together and share best practices in figuring out solutions-saving time & effort, thereby accelerating Urban Development in the country.

I write about Self-Development, Skills, Learning, and Innovation.

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